Move Over Grinch: The Economy is Stealing Christmas in 2011

According to Panjiva, shipments of high end products like video games and cashmere plummet ahead of holidays

New York, Nov. 21, 2011 – With the annual Black Friday shopping event just days away, retailers are bracing for a day that could bring optimism to the 2011 holiday retail season or set the stage for a disappointing few weeks ahead. Data released today from Panjiva, the leading source of objective information on global manufacturers, suggests the latter. According to Panjiva Trends, shipments of high end items in 2011 fell dramatically from August to October, the months when most holiday shipments arrive, as compared to the same period in 2010.

For children anticipating premium toys under the tree this year, there may be disappointment. Shipments of video games are at their lowest since Panjiva began tracking data in 2007 and have fallen 42 percent from 2010 to 2011. Similarly, shipments of the popular children’s educational game console Leapster fell approximately 30 percent this holiday season as compared to last. Even non-electronic toys have suffered, though to a lesser extent, with guitars and bikes seeing a 14 and 4 percent decrease over 2010, respectively.

Toys are not the only items to suffer at the hands of the economy this holiday. Traditional high end gifts have also experienced notable shipment declines, including cashmere which experienced a steady decline in shipments and is at its lowest points since Panjiva began analyzing such data. A total of 2517 cashmere shipments from August through October 2011 represents almost a 10 percent decrease from the same period in 2010. Digital cameras have experienced more than a 12 percent drop off.

Although the retail sector has enjoyed 14 consecutive months of sales growth, according to the National Retail Federation, continued consumer uncertainty over the stock market, higher gas and food prices, fiscal policy and sputtering job growth are likely to impact spending this holiday season. With this in mind, retailers appear to have trimmed orders on more expensive items and instead invested in wallet-friendly goods that consumers are more likely to purchase.

“With consumer confidence questionable heading into the holidays, retailers appear to be taking necessary precautions so they don’t end up losing money and stuck with surplus inventory come January,” said Panjiva CEO Josh Green. “Products like cashmere and video games are a luxury to many consumers and as such, are the first item crossed off of cash-strapped consumers’ shopping lists. More affordable, classic toys and every day gift items appear to be the better bet for holiday 2011.”

Supporting this trend prediction, last week Panjiva revealed that traditional, more affordable children’s toys like Barbie and Hot Wheels have seen a dramatic uptick in shipments leading into this holiday season, while anticipated “it” toys lacked growth. Find data from both of those reports on Panjiva’s press resources page.

About Panjiva
Panjiva is an online resource for sourcing executives to gain valuable knowledge about suppliers around the world. By providing the most comprehensive data in an easy to use format, Panjiva informs the decisions that facilitate doing business globally. Supply chain and global production executives responsible for finding the right factories, negotiating costs and avoiding costly supply chain disruptions have been “flying blind.” Panjiva is the first and only online information source designed to provide complete transparency into overseas suppliers. Leveraging a variety of public and proprietary data sources, Panjiva is bringing new levels of visibility to the management of global supply chains. Panjiva was founded by CEO Josh Green and CTO James Psota. Panjiva received an equity investment from Battery Ventures and a contingent of angel investors. For additional information, visit: http://panjiva.com.