Big brands including Etsy, Ralph Lauren and the operator of the Tangier mall are spending more on marketing and using other tactics to boost holiday sales as they bet on shoppers venturing after COVID lockdowns from last year.
Despite this, soaring costs of shipping goods and hiring workers mean customers are likely to find leaner inventory and higher prices for items ranging from lipstick to stilettos and clothing, said. companies to investors in recent earnings calls.
Tanger Factory Outlets is launching early marketing campaigns and Christmas tree lighting events sponsored by local businesses to attract people to its malls. The company is also turning to on-site marketing, including digital directories, partnering with retailers, and backlit signs to entice people while they shop.
Etsy offers gift guides and creates localized online events for holiday shoppers this year, chief executive Joshua Silverman said on an earnings call Wednesday. The company plans to target new buyers in the fourth quarter with digital TV and video ads and coupons.
Delays in the supply chain have also forced retailers to tighten inventories, with some forgoing major marketing for the holidays. Elf Beauty in August rejected vacation scheduling plans “to prioritize the core assortment in the face of industry-wide container imbalance,” CFO Mandy Fields said.
Ralph Lauren, which is ramping up marketing from the first half of the year, expects outerwear such as quilted jackets to sell well this holiday season after performing well in the third quarter, the company said during its appeal to investors.
Estee Lauder and Steve Madden fill shelves with the first holiday products, including top-selling perfumes and glitzy, party-ready shoes, respectively.
Tracey Thomas Travis, chief financial officer of Estée Lauder, said the company was “in great shape for the holidays” after making its products and ordering gift sets early.
With tight stocks, shoppers can see fewer discounts on shoes and clothing. Edward Rosenfeld, CEO of Steve Madden, said the shoe brand is releasing fewer promotions than pre-pandemic levels during the holiday season. Michael Kors’ parent company, Capri Holdings, is considering raising the prices of its bags, CEO John Idol said on a conference call Wednesday.
“When it comes to the holidays, we will not be in the inventory position that we would have liked to be in,” Idol said, adding that the company still expected to be able to meet demand.
UK clothing retailer Next Plc has warned inventory availability remains “difficult” as delays in its international supply chain are compounded by labor shortages in the Kingdom’s transport and warehouse networks -United.