Without a hit holiday toy, retailers strategize

Years ago it was the Tickle Me Elmo, later on it was a batch of Furbies that sent holiday shoppers in to a frenzy.

Years ago it was the Tickle Me Elmo, later on it was a batch of Furbies that sent holiday shoppers in to a frenzy. However, this year, retailers are worried, as no single item has yet to catch the imagination of consumers.

Instead, retailers are stocking up on perennial classics and focusing on customer experience management, including interactive deals and promotions as well as in-store events, to keep sales high despite a lack of clamorous crowds, the New York Times reports.

Furthermore, retailers are being conservative in their shipment orders, hoping to avoid a situation like last year, when post-holiday season, they were left with substantial inventory and a rush to sell it by the end of January.

However, Gerrick Johnson, an analyst with BMO capital markets, explained to the source that smaller shipment orders are spurring early sell-outs and even higher prices. As a result, "as we get closer to the holidays, you'll see less and less price promotion," Gerrick explained.

A survey by RetailNext reported additional ways that brick-and-mortar outlets are appealing to shoppers. It noted that in-store promotions, layouts and displays were key to engaging harried holiday shoppers.