Christmas: Made in the U.S.

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For most people the holidays are all about spending time with family and loved ones. It’s about setting out cookies for Santa, or seeing those smiles on children’s faces that light up the world. But for some, the holidays are a golden opportunity to take advantage of people’s generosity. In the corporate world, the holiday season brings upon all types of strategies in order to get the jump on holiday shopping.

Retail companies find themselves especially busy around the holiday season since it can be the end all be all in terms of financial success for their year. Holiday sales for retail companies, such as Target and Walmart, make up such a ridiculously large portion of the annual sales figures that a bad holiday season will likely mean a bad year for most companies. Take Amazon for example, an absolute titan in the retail industry. Amazon’s fiscal fourth quarter income (aka the holiday quarter) accounts for about 33% of their yearly income. Thirty-three percent relative to the billions of dollars Amazon makes is an extremely large share of money and all of that comes from just the concept of holiday shopping.

Now take into account what happens if that quarter under performs in terms of expectations. Especially for companies that are smaller than Amazon (aka most companies), not meeting these expectations during this fiscal season can be absolutely devastating for their overall yearly income. The importance of this season draws a great deal of attention from these companies, leading them to take steps in order to give them the best possible chance at success. More workers are hired to, specifically, work for the holiday season in order to meet the required demands at that time of year; then they release most of them at the end of the season, leaving them unemployed. Some retailers even invest into a higher quality of service by enhancing the staff they already have. During the 2018 holiday season, Target, for example, invested fifty-million dollars into new programs and training just to improve the service the employees offer customers. Companies are willing to invest a large amount of resources in hopes of making it all back in a successful holiday outing. If it’s not successful, a year’s worth of work could have very well gone down the drain just because of one bad quarter.

For many companies, these aren’t just the busiest times in any given year, they are also the scariest. This is the make or break time for them and they are willing to pull out all the stops to make sure they come prepared to have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. There is no denying these practices are working as intended. These days the average American is spending as much as seven hundred dollars on holiday gifts, which equates to a total average of four hundred and sixty-five billion dollars in the U.S. With the ease of modern day shopping, this number only finds itself increasing year after year. Maybe it’s the holiday spirit or maybe it’s the sheer amount of effort that companies put into this time of year, all that is for certain is we are definitely buying what they are selling this holiday season.

For more information regarding the importance of the fiscal holidays, see the links below:

https://corporate.target.com/press/releases/2019/10/target-ushers-in-the-holiday-season-with-enhanced

https://www.geekwire.com/2019/amazon-reports-record-profits-3b-crushes-wall-street-expectations-holiday-quarter/

https://www.barrons.com/articles/holiday-shopping-season-shorter-retailers-51574708120