November 20, 2012

Giving Back, Moving Forward

It’s been a tough few weeks and between the gas crisis, nor’easter, lack of public transportation and general destruction of homes, businesses and the like that Sandy has caused, we are in for an interesting holiday season. Some retailers like Saks have already felt the effects with its 5th Ave store in Manhattan, which produces one-fifth of its company wide sales alone and was closed for a week and a day due to the storm. Many other companies are already forecasting lower expectations than originally anticipated like TJX stores, Kohls, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors and even Macy's for the 2012 gifting season.

So as a result, this holiday shopping season has been pushed up even earlier as retailers try and maximize as much as possible on Black Friday revenue. Stores like Walmart, Target and Sears are even opening as early as 8pm on Thanksgiving itself, deeming the holiday "Black Thursday." However, along with this, comes much controversy about infringing on the importance of this traditional family oriented holiday of giving thanks for those employees who are forced to cut it short or give it up entirely in the name of dollar signs.

photo via MyCityWay

One retailer keeping its doors closed on Thanksgiving is Macy's, who will open at midnight on the morning of Black Friday. Instead, the mega department chain which hosts its annual Macy's Day Parade, is putting its focus on Thanksgiving Day festivities by bringing in a mobile component to its 86th celebration. The MyCityWay Macy's Thanksgiving App, will offer both parade attendees and TV viewers an interactive in depth look into the balloons, floats and performers as well as the ability to track the route and play customizable games.

photo via British Vogue

Others are getting a bit more creative and looking at more innovative ways to attract shoppers. For one, Barney's is partnering with Disney this year to launch a cartoon film following Minnie's adventures at Paris fashion week. Along the way, she runs into some of fashion's most famous faces which includes Lady Gaga, Alber Elbaz, Carine Roitfeld and Sara Jessica Parker to give you a little sneak peak!

video via Forever 21

Forever 21 is releasing its augmented reality app called F21Pop bringing both its windows and magazine to life. The fast fashion chain specifically caters largely to Generation Y-ers so incorporating a digital component into this year's holiday campaign is key.

video via Asos

One retailer definitely capitalizing on the disposable income of Generation Y is nonetheless Asos! This time the online trendy shop is launching a global interactive Christmas campaign featuring shoppable films starring the likes of Ellie Goulding, Charlotte Free and Azealia Banks. Each celebs' personal style will be showcased via a cross-platform approach through images, video and editorial shots.

photo via

Kohl's is making shopper's dreams come true as it unleashes its campaign "Dream Gifts" that offers mega savings and lavish contests like its "dream receipt" component which pays for one lucky shopper's entire purchase everyday in each of its 1,100 stores! Kohl's is heavily pushing its advertising via digital, social media and mobile platforms to include things like cinema ads running on Hulu, ABC, and as well as offering Friday flash sales and sweepstakes on Facebook. Not to mention, with every new "like" on Facebook, the retailer will donate a dollar to Toys for Tots! Among this, Kohl's also has its designated gift pairing displays, an online list builder which includes a real time budgeting feature and free wifi in all of its stores.

photo via Ebay

Ebay is stepping up its game as well with its Holiday Collective, which takes over 40 designer gifts from the like of Chris Benz, Steven Alan, Tibi and Jonathan Adler, etc, and brings them to shoppers at a super affordable price of under $100!

photo via Star Tribune

Meanwhile, some are getting in the holiday spirit by joining up forces to produce some noteworthy collaborations. For instance, Target and Neiman Marcus are teaming up to offer a limited collection of more than 50 products ranging from fashion merch to sporting goods from the likes of Oscar de la Renta, DVF and even Derek Lam. Since the prices range rom $7.99 to nearly $500, it's a great opportunity for both retailers to blend their customer bases and capitalize on profits. 

photo via J.C. Penney

So we've caught you up on a plethora of different retailers but what's J.C. Penney up to as they continue to struggle to reposition themselves? This holiday season the department chain will be handing out over 80 million holiday themed circular buttons with codes revealing prizes like trips to Disneyland, gift cards or free merchandise.

Not only do we have Black Thursday and Black Friday promos to look forward to, but Cyber Monday too! With that said, if you are looking to avoid all the holiday shopping madness, what better way to shop than from the comfort of your own home? According to a recent survey from, nearly 90% of retails will offer some form of free shipping over the next few weeks and we couldn't be more excited for that!

video via ABC

Despite the increased holiday pressures, for many, Sandy is still on our minds. And as sample sale season is among us, many designers are offering the proceeds from these deeply discounted crazed sales towards Sandy Relief Efforts (which is something we LOVE to hear and shop!). On top of that, Gap Inc., Target, Macy's and Home Depot are just a few of the companies donating hefty sums to the American Red Cross to help rebuild the local community.

A lot of crazy things have happened the past year (both good and bad) and we’re sure there’s more to come. So whatever your plans are for Thanksgiving, make sure to be thankful for something this year and remember to give a little back!

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