Just another weekend? Retailers say July 4th holiday sales bring mixed results

HIGH POINT — Retail results for the July Fourth holiday were a mixed bag for many retailers, with several attributing so-so results to everything from COVID-19 concerns to political unrest.

Following an overwhelmingly successful Memorial Day holiday, July Fourth felt for many retailers like just another weekend of sales, which they are quick to point out is not necessarily a bad thing.

“The home has become so important during all of this, and our customers have been serious about coming in to purchase since we reopened,” said Steve Rotman, CEO of Rotmans Furniture in Worcester, Mass. “So the holiday itself being not as big of a deal to us as normal is OK.”

Traffic wise, the weekend for Rotmans was “not all that different from any other weekend,” according to Rotman, for the Worchester, Mass.-based retailer that had been reporting high closing rates before the weekend.

“We didn’t see many consumers looking at the Fourth of July weekend as very different from any other week,” he said, theorizing that some people may have been feeling less-than patriotic this year because of the current political climate and that just as many may not have been out shopping or celebrating because of COVID-19 safety concerns.

“A holiday with everything going on might not feel the same, so I think some people decided just stayed home and didn’t even think about the sales,” he surmised.

Keeping weekend traffic for the holiday fairly comparable to previous weekends was actually one of Miskelly Furniture’s largest goals for this year’s Fourth of July weekend.

“We usually go all out for the holidays,” said Betsy Tabor, marketing director of the Hattiesburg, Miss.-based retailer. “But this year, we were trying to avoid having a large gathering on the Fourth out of a concern for everyone’s safety.”

So, Tabor and the team at Miskelly Furniture nixed the food, raffles and games that had been offered on the holiday weekend in years past, opting instead to up the ante on its holiday sales offer and extend the offer period.

Instead of the company’s previous years’ offer of $100 off on every $1,000 spent up to $2,000, the retailer offered $100 off every $1,000 spent up to $4,000, and it ran the promotion for two weeks, starting out the week before July 4 and running through to…

Read MoreJust another weekend? Retailers say July 4th holiday sales bring mixed results

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