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Who Failed at Christmas Retail in 2012?

Christmas is the holy mecca for retailers and despite the downturn in the economy that we're still enduring, the majority of retailers make anywhere between 20-40% of their annual income from Christmas retail alone. However, last Christmas, a handful of major retailers failed miserably. 

Below, I've listed those who missed the bus on the Christmas frenzy and what it cost them. If you're an online retailer and you want to make sure you maximize your earnings during the 2013 Christmas period, go straight to our free guide on Christmas Selling Secrets and get a step-by-step guide to dominating eBay sales these holidays. 

Major retailers that failed during the 2012 Christmas retail period

French Connection

The renowned clothing label has admitted to falling £8 million into debt after it delayed it's winter sales leading up to Christmas. Shoppers simply went elsewhere to stores who were offering better deals which just goes to show how critical timing is around this time of year. 


Marks and Spencer (or M&S) reported a bigger than expected drop in sales last Christmas, wiping a huge £300m off the retailer's value. Ouch! 

JC Penny

The troubled retail giant reported disappointing sales in quarter 4 of 2012 - the quarter that retailers should be flourishing in. Their blunder came down to the timing of their sales. Experts say they started discounting their products too early (December 10) and not taking advantage of the hype in the last days leading up to Christmas. 

Major retailers that succeeded during the 2012 Christmas retail period


Gap's profits increased by 29% over the Christmas period, just like all good retailer's should! Analysts attribute this to Gap not offering too many discounts too early and carefully timing their promotions. 


Wal-Mart saw an increase to $35.49 billion over the holiday period. Their selling point that set them apart from their competitors was their pledge to beat any price on any item throughout the holiday period. 

What separates the winners and the losers in retail?   

What's the single thing that most of these tales of failure have in common?  Timing. They either got it right and made a profit, or they got it wrong and lost out. Timing is everything when it comes to retail. You have to start promoting at the right time, start discounting at the right time and most importantly, start preparing at the right time. If you're an eBay seller (or aspiring eBay seller) and you want to get your share of the Christmas spend this year, the time to start preparing is now. 

To help you get prepared the fast and easy way, we have put together a step-by-step guide to making money on eBay this Christmas. This guide is for both beginners and intermediate sellers who want to make the most out of the opportunity that Christmas offers you. 

Don't leave money on the table this Christmas, access the free Super Christmas eBay Selling free guide now (no email address required).

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4 Comments Add your comment
I enjoyed your writing. Its really very interesting. Thank you. http://www.efashionwholesale.com Reply
Thanks! I'm really glad you enjoyed it :) Make sure you check out our Christmas selling guide: http://www.salehoo.com/redirect/xmas-blog Reply
Site Admin
This is a very good blog post Reply
Site Admin
Great post Alice, GAP is always good at this time of the year Reply
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