Monday, November 10, 2008

Polly's Blog Today: 28 Promotions and Counting

I received a seemingly large volume of emails today, and as I was deleting them, I thought it might be helpful to list them out. The promotions are piling up this holiday season, from Eddie Bauer to Neiman Marcus, with more discounts than free shipping (so far).

In no particular order...

Eddie Bauer- Last Days: 30% Off Outerwear + Up to 60% Off 250 Styles!

Teleflora- Save 10% - Teleflora's Fall bouquets starting at $29.99!

Borders- 40% Off Holiday Music & More -- 2 Days Only

Coldwater Creek- $30 off + Favorite holiday looks (at fabulous prices!)

Frontgate- 20% Off Continues: Enjoy the Best of Outdoor Living

Sundance- Take 20% Off All Jewelry...But Hurry!

Ballard Designs- Shop our Estate Sale and save up to 65%

Teleflora- Introducing Teleflora's Colonial Williamsburg Sweepstakes! (yes, 2 emails in the same morning) Stay Warm & Save $15 on all Boots and Slippers of $40 or more!

Amazon- Free Super Saver Shipping to Kick-Start Your Holidays

Tiffany & Co - Complimentary Shipping Ends Today

Bluefly - One-Day SHOE SALE - Now up to 60% off

Ann Taylor - Final Day: 30% OFF Your Purchase

Overstock - LAST DAY 10% OFF

Neiman Marcus - NEW ARRIVALS: First Call SALE + Free online shipping AT ANY PRICE

Design Within Reach - Save up to 70% at the DWR Warehouse Sale

Restoration Hardware Baby & Child - Save 20% During our Friends and Family Event

Babies R Us - ONE DAY ONLY! Terrific Tuesday Savings, Veterans Day, Nov 11th

Lillian Vernon - Free Shipping on Christmas Gifts, Decor and More in the new catalog

All - 25% off entire stie & up to 75% off VINTAGE clearance

Personalization Mall - Countdown to Christmas 25% off

Omaha Steaks - Save up to 64% and Get Your Free Ham (first 1,000 orders only)

Discovery Store - Final Email Secret Sale - 20% Off Site-wide

Nordstrom - Free Holiday Shipping (Details Inside) Half-Yearly Sale: Save 40% or more

Eastern Mountain Sports - Up To 50% OFF* Your Holiday Shopping! Act Now!

Exposures - Exposures the more you buy the more you save

Circuit City - Veteran's Day Savings on HDTV's, laptops, cameras and more

Snapfish - Get 20% off our Holiday Catalog

The vast array of promotions this holiday season only tells us what we already know... there is no easy way out of this recession.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

How Much Change?

It’s November and our holiday season is officially here. The market is up and today’s election could make history. We are all planning for 09, and the number of revisions to our forecasts has hit double digits.

We are busy with cost-cutting measures, new initiatives, and plans to optimize our existing business (from page counts to merchandising). We can not use the economy as our excuse for weak sales and sit back and wait. Or can we?

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to understand, when you are down in sales 20% to LY, how much of that is the economy and how much of it is our own business decisions.

I was a Pottery Barn customer before I worked for Williams-Sonoma Inc., and I am still a Pottery Barn customer. This brand is struggling along with the rest of the home d├ęcor and furnishings market, but to my consumer eye, the catalog and the retail stores have never looked better. Perhaps expensive leather was not the right fall statement in a weak economy, but overall, the brand still looks great.

How do you preserve the brand you have created, while making changes to combat declining sales in a temporary economic climate?