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Is the holiday shopping season the biggest time of year for local clothing shops?

October 28, 2019

The holiday shopping season is huge for retail businesses of all shapes and sizes, but what about clothing shops? Do Americans hit up small and local clothing shops and boutiques to buy the latest threads during the holidays? Or has online shopping diminished holiday shopping’s impact on main street clothing shops?

Like we’ve detailed in the past, online shopping hasn’t killed retail, and in fact, there’s clear evidence that physical retail stores aren’t going anywhere. But because local retail businesses encompass such a wide variety of types of shops, we wanted to do a deeper dive this holiday season.

Check out our state of local retail report for a deep dive into the biggest days of the year at all retail shops, which state’s retail shops earn the most revenue, and a whole lot more.

We analyzed transaction data at 4,000 local clothing shops across the country to find out if the holiday shopping season is still big, what other times of the year move the needle, and a whole lot more.

How much do clothing shops make on an average day?

We first started by analyzing what the average day looks like at local clothing shops around the country.

The average clothing store in our analysis brought in $1,053 in daily revenue on average throughout the year. Looking closer, we see they process on average about 16 daily transactions with an average ticket of $66.02.

Of course, this is only an average across a wide variety of clothing stores, and a “typical day” can look quite different depending on the type of store and its location. For example, some of the clothing stores in our analysis averaged above 80 transactions per day, while others averaged only a couple transactions per day.

And, as you might expect, average ticket price varied wildly. The thriftier clothing shops in our analysis had an average ticket price in the $10 to $20 range, while the extremely high-end boutiques saw average ticket prices around the $1,000 mark.

What are the busiest days of the week for local clothing stores?

Next we took a deeper look at the numbers by breaking down each day of the week at the average clothing store in our analysis.

Here’s what we found:

Nearly 40% of all revenue at clothing stores came in on Fridays and Saturdays alone, confirming the weekend’s status as the prime shopping days. Only 56% of clothing stores in our analysis kept their doors open on Sundays, however, making it easily the slowest day of the week overall.

Diving deeper into the data, you can see that weekdays see clothing shops processing much fewer transactions, on average, but at a slightly higher ticket price. Tuesdays and Wednesdays both see clothing stores processing about 13 transactions per day, but at an average ticket around $70.

As the weekend hits, average transactions rise, peaking at 23 transactions per Saturday, but average ticket price dips in kind. Particularly on Sundays, where the 56% of clothing stores who keep their doors open process an above-average 19 daily transactions but at a much lower-than-average ticket of $54.65.

When are the biggest times of the year for clothing stores?

Now that we’ve examined the typical day and week for local clothing shops, it’s time to answer the question that we asked at the beginning of this article—is the holiday shopping season still big for clothing stores?

To find an answer, we broke down annual revenue at all clothing stores in our analysis by each week of the year:

Things start slow in January and February for clothing stores before rising rapidly in early spring and remaining rather consistent until a major increase during the back to school shopping season.

Things then drop before another major (but shorter-lived) spike during the holidays. And while this is certainly evidence that the holiday shopping season does have a significant impact on local clothing sales, we continued to dive deeper.

What are the biggest days of the year for local clothing stores?

Our seasonal and weekly trends revealed back to school shopping and the holidays as prolonged high points for clothes shopping, but what about single-day sales?

We first examined the top 5 days of the year by total consumer spending at clothing stores in our analysis:

Black Friday, a day increasingly associated with online shopping or big box door-busting, was the single-biggest day of the year for consumer spending at clothing stores. Total dollars spent at all clothing stores in our analysis was up 86% on Black Friday when compared to a typical day.

Perhaps more than any other stat in our finding, this suggests that Main Street is indeed still a prime shopping destination during the holidays for many Americans.

It appears that last-minute holiday shopping plays a huge role as well, as the weekends before Easter, Christmas, and Mother’s Day all fell in spots 2 through 4.

The “busiest” and “spendiest” days of the year at clothing stores

Finally, we wanted to see which were the days when Americans spent the most per-ticket, and which days were the busiest for local clothing shops.

Interestingly, the top ticket day of the year was on December 27th, suggesting that millions of Americans might be cashing in on Holiday returns a lot quicker than you’d think.

The rest of the top 5 ticket days all fall on the week before Christmas, proving that there’s no time like the holidays when it comes to splurging on new clothes.

Black Friday, meanwhile, was the biggest day of the year in terms of average transactions, suggesting shoppers are busting doors and seeking deals just as much on Main Street as they are online and at big retailers.

Easter weekend, back to school shopping, and Christmas weekend were all also responsible for top transaction days as well. This suggests the holiday shopping season is particularly boosted thanks to shoppers willingness to spend a bit more per-ticket. Other major clothes-shopping seasons, like back to school, appear to be driven by more cost-conscious shoppers.

How to get the most out of the busiest days of the year if you own or manage a clothing store

Do you own your own local clothing store? If so, do you do big business over the holidays? Or you do you feel like you struggle to bring in customers in spite of seasonal expectations?

As we just detailed, the holiday shopping season is all about increases in transactions, but especially in average ticket size. So it’s not just about drawing extra customers into your doors. It’s also about capitalizing on customers who are willing to spend a lot more than usual.

Look for ways to cement your clothing shop as the place for your target customer demographic to get all their shopping done this holiday season. Lean heavily on great deals and special discounts on Black Friday. As Christmas weekend draws nearer, entice customers with special discounts on larger purchases or some of your hottest items.

If your store is already a hit during the holidays, think about how to take advantage of the increase in foot traffic to pay dividends later down the road. Push for more reviews of your business, and entice customers to follow you on social media or provide their email address for future discounts and deals. That way you’ll be a step ahead of the game next year and beyond.

Check out a few of our helpful guides for clothing store owners:

Finally, check out how Womply’s reputation management software helps make all this easier while saving you time and money. Sign up for a free demo below to see how Womply has helped businesses like yours increase revenue by 20%, see 22% more repeat customers, and save 10 hours of time per week.

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