10.10 Shopping Festival Gains Traction With Kroger, Ulta

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The big story for holiday retail so far this year has come down to one word: early. In previous years, Thanksgiving kicked off the season, but the pandemic has scuttled that tradition. This year, Oct. 13 is the day that Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart and others have chosen to trot out deals usually associated with Black Friday. But before Oct. 13 rolls around, the U.S.-based 10.10 Shopping Festival aims to capture some early holiday spend.

Originally the brainchild of Coresight Research, the event is an attempt to build a shopping festival on the order of Singles’ Day in China, which falls on 11.11. The 10.10 group has managed to pull off an impressive, cause-based marketing model and a fairly high-profile group of participating retailers. The open question at this point is whether consumers will go for “Mirror Day,” when Prime Day and its counter-events are right around the corner, just a few days away.

The 10.10 Festival is actually a four-day event, running October 9-12, 2020. It was created to offer consumers online and in-store sales as well as the opportunity to contribute to nonprofits. Coresight Research spearheaded the festival in collaboration with shopping rewards app Shopkick and online fashion marketplace Fashwire. The business model enables all consumers to shop without an invitation code and to contribute to charities directly or indirectly while shopping. Charity partners include The American Heart Association, Goodwill and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

The retail participants are mostly specialty stores, with a sprinkling of major chains such as Ulta, Kroger, Guess, Jos. A. Bank and ProFlowers.

The organizers believe the timing of the festival makes sense, given the pressure on “last-mile” issues the industry is expected to face with the shift to the digital-first economy. “This year, supply chain pressures caused by COVID-19 will make it more challenging and more expensive for retailers to deliver holiday purchases,” Coresight said in a statement. “By pulling forward holiday spending, retailers can better manage promotional spending, inventory and delivery while providing a better experience for consumers.”

As other research has shown, consumers are planning to start their holiday shopping earlier – which could suggest they are wary of product shortages and shipping delays, the 10.10 organizers believe. According to Coresight, three in 10 U.S. consumers said they expect to start shopping earlier for the holidays compared to last year. Many consumers are aware of pressures on shipping, with almost half (47.8 percent) of early shoppers concerned about online orders being delivered on time.

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