Retailers are desperate to kick off holiday shopping early this year

Article courtesy of BusinessInsider here

  • Ulta, Kroger, and Guess are among the retailers offering deals this upcoming weekend as part of the 10.10 Shopping Festival.

  • The goal of the new event is to entice shoppers to start their holiday gift-buying earlier than usual.

  • In a year marred by the coronavirus pandemic, retailers are concerned a logistical nightmare could ensue if too many people leave their holiday shopping until the last minute.

Ulta, Kroger, and Guess are among the stores that will be offering deals as part of the new 10.10 Shopping Festival, which runs from October 9 to October 12. The name of the event is a nod to China's massive Singles' Day shopping event, which happens on November 11 (11/11) each year.

Created by Coresight Research, rewards app Shopkick, and fashion marketplace Fashwire, the goal of the 10.10 Shopping Festival is to entice shoppers to start their holiday gift-buying earlier and spread it out over a longer period of time than usual. Thanksgiving weekend is the traditional kick-off of the holiday shopping season.

But this year, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench in the usual schedule.

Retailers are beginning to warn that their systems could become overloaded and customers could face order delays close to the holidays. Shipping volumes have been unusually high as consumers opt to shop online and largely stay at home amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. If more people are shopping around the same time due to the holidays, the problem could get worse.

Shoppers who buy from participating retailers — both online and in stores — during the 10.10 festival can earn rewards in the form of "kicks," which can then be redeemed for gift cards or donated to charities including St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Pink Aid, Retailers United, Soles4Souls, The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, and the Breast Cancer Research Fund.

Fashwire will also be highlighting participating designers in a curated shop.

"The extra time before December will help alleviate every retailer's nightmare in a year involving skyrocketing online sales: order processing, fulfillment, and shipment delays," Coresight CEO and founder Deborah Weinswig said in a press release.

"The timing, coupled with what we've learned from Alibaba's Singles' Day — a newly created shopping holiday that turned into a resounding success for the Chinese retail platform — are key aspects of our decision to band together to create this event."

In 2019, Singles' Day generated about $38.3 billion in sales, according to Alibaba, which hosts the 24-hour shopping extravaganza.

The festival also falls just before Amazon Prime Day, which was postponed to October 13 and 14 this year. Amazon has said it will offer more than one million deals, exclusively available to Amazon Prime members, as part of the shopping extravaganza.