Archives for October 22, 2020

2020 Holiday Shopping Season Arrived Early This Year!

2020 Holiday Shopping Season Arrived Early This Year!

Retailers across the globe are already in the midst of holiday sale events…in October! While it’s not unusual to see a spattering of holiday promotions before Halloween, this year is clearly an outlier. Retailers have kicked off the holiday shopping season earlier than ever for a number of sound reasons.

First, brick-and-mortar stores, wisely seeking to minimize big crowds in the face of a global pandemic, are attempting to smooth out foot traffic. Many have scaled back or altogether eliminated plans for Black Friday doorbuster sales. Instead, they’re striving to spread their in-store sales across more weeks than in years past.

Second, major retailers are feeling pressure to shift into high gear earlier this year for fear of missing out. With millions of Americans out of work due to the Covid-19-induced recession, and predictions that we’ll see fewer and smaller holiday gatherings so less gift-giving, the expectation is that overall holiday shopping and spending will decline this year. So retailers are aggressively competing over what’s expected to be a smaller pie.

Since 2015, Amazon has staged their premier annual sale event – Prime Day – during summer; until this year, that is. In 2020 the world’s largest E-commerce business postponed Prime Day to keep focus on stabilizing supply chains thrown into turmoil when a huge swath of consumers shifted to online shopping almost overnight in conjunction with the Covid-19 outbreak.

Once Amazon announced Prime Day 2020 would occur on October 13-14, major brick-and-mortar retailers advanced their holiday sales events. Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, even preempted Amazon, kicking off their “Big Save Event” on the preceding Sunday – October 11. Target elected to go head to head against Amazon by running their Target Deal Days concurrently with Amazon’s Prime Day on October 13 and 14.

There’s a fourth critical reason why retailers are encouraging shoppers to pull the trigger earlier this year – expected product sourcing challenges and shipping bottlenecks. This year more than ever, consumers are focused on exercise gear, gaming consoles, and home-cooking related wares, such as butcher blocks, kitchen work tables and carts, wood cutting boards, kitchen knives and knife blocks.

So when we at the Butcher Block Co. encourage shoppers to lock in their purchases early this year, it’s not due merely to self-interest. Of course, we appreciate the business, but more importantly, we want shoppers to increase their chances of scoring the exact gifts they want and to receive them before Christmas.

As families spend more time at home, especially in their kitchens, people are rediscovering the joy of preparing their own meals. That’s great news, but heightened demand can create downsides. For example, demand for John Boos products has been so through the roof this year that lead times on many Boos top-sellers are running two weeks longer than normal. That’s why this year we are encouraging early holiday shopping. Please place orders for Boos products by November 6. Most of the Butcher Block Co.’s other suppliers carry some product inventory and do not make-to-order, so their Christmas cutoff dates are later in the year.