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Continued: Holiday retail winners and losers

  • Article by: THOMAS LEE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 1, 2014 - 2:08 PM

2013 will likely be remembered the year that smartphones and tablets fully morphed from pure research tools into pure buying devices. The Consumer Electronics Association estimates holiday sales through mobile devices totaled $8.4 billion, or 14.8 percent of total online sales, compared to $1 billion, or 3 percent of total online sales, in 2010.

 

Blenders

Um, we’re not sure why, but blenders seemed to be a hot holiday gift, especially the high-end Vitamix models. The company expects to sell 1.4 million blenders in 2013, a goal likely met thanks to a big holiday push.

LOSERS

Target

The discount giant was already forecasting tepid holiday sales. Then came the credit card thefts, which were reported and confirmed by (in order) a blogger, local and national media, the U.S. Secret Service, and finally Target. So instead of focusing on last-minute Christmas shoppers, the retailer scrambled to repair its reputation and make amends.

 

Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving has traditionally marked the official start of holiday shopping. But retailers’ decision to open on Thanksgiving has come at Black Friday’s expense. Brick-and-mortar shopper traffic fell 11.4 percent and sales also declined 13.2 percent compared to Black Friday in 2012, according to ShopperTrak.

 

Physical music

Beyoncé’s unexpected decision to distribute her self-titled album exclusively on iTunes one week before releasing the CD deprived retailers of sales and holiday buzz. As a result, Target said it would not sell the album.

 

UPS and FedEx

The two delivery giants picked the worst holiday not to deliver packages on time. No one knows how many packages failed to arrive at homes by Dec. 25, but it was enough for both companies to issue apologies and refunds.

 

Malls

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