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Forecast: Modest 2.8% holiday lift for retailers

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"Today's shopping journeys require retailers to seamlessly share knowledge internally between digital/mobile and physical channels to optimize sales for the enterprise," said Shelley E. Kohan, vice president of retail consulting at RetailNext. "Effectively implementing quick action strategies converging digital and physical channel experiences will build brand loyalty and drive sales, and more important than anything else, it will determine the retail industry's Holiday winners and losers."

"Retailers that reimagine Thanksgiving will start the season strong," added Kohan. "The event is a now a weeklong endeavor so planning accordingly will eliminate reactionary price reductions that diminish margins. While Black Friday, Super Saturday and Cyber-Monday will still have starring roles, the best strategy to optimize sales will be with a well-laid out plan for the week."

"Other big initiatives will be around service, with an emphasis on easing pain points experienced by shoppers in their journeys," added Johns. "Everything from ensuring inventory availability to closing the gap where shoppers enter the store with more knowledge about the brand and its products and services than sales associates can be easy wins for retailers, but it will be important for service initiatives to be implemented for shoppers' sake rather than retailers' benefit."



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