4 Hot Retail Trends to Jump on This Holiday Season

hot retail trends

All year long I keep track of trends on my blog and in my email newsletter. As retailers gear up for the holiday sales season, I thought I’d share some hot retail trends I’ve noted that could help you boost your sales.

2013 Hot Retail Trends

1. Thanksgivingkkah

The first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving this year (November 28, 2013), which could affect retailers in several ways.

First, people will start Hanukkah shopping earlier this year, which means that if you live in an area with a large Jewish population, you’ll want to start your holiday marketing campaign earlier than usual. Just be careful you don’t discount too deeply before you have to.

Marketwatch predicts there might be two Black Fridays this year. And the fact that Thanksgiving is becoming a shopping day in itself could boost sales even more. Some savvy entrepreneurs have already taken advantage of this holiday oddity (it won’t happen again for 70,000 years.)

On the downside, there are fewer shopping days than usual between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which could hurt retail sales overall.

2. Teen Consumers

Teen spending is on the rise. What are they spending their money on? Beauty products (skin care and cosmetics) are hot items for teens, as are mobile devices (both tablets and smartphones).

However, clothing is a particular bright spot, with one particularly hot area being lingerie for teen girls, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. The trend started with Victoria’s Secret’s Pink line for college girls, introduced nearly a decade ago. But as younger girls strive to dress more like their elders, companies are jumping on the trend. With lingerie sales overall topping $11 billion a year, per market research firm NPD Group, there’s room for growth.

And before you get offended at the idea of “lingerie” for teens and tweens, know this is just cute, pretty underwear—nothing overtly sexy.

Teens are buying beauty products, lingerie and tech devices for themselves, of course, but for the holidays, try stocking them as gift items. You can market the more affordable items to parents, grandparents and teens themselves (to give their friends as gifts), while targeting the big-ticket mobile devices to parents (promote their usefulness for school and for safety).

3. Oil It Up

Just about every holiday shopper has a gourmet item on his or her gift list these days. If you own a restaurant, food store or other cooking-related business, cash in on the olive oil trend.

The trend of olive oil bars is taking off nationwide, American Way magazine recently reported. Driven by the popularity of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is being touted for its health benefits and is even used in beauty products. This isn’t just plain olive oil, however. It’s flavored gourmet versions.

Consider adding it to your store shelves and attracting strolling shoppers with olive oil tastings to introduce them to the variety of flavors. Events like swap meets and street fairs are also a great place to sell your olive oil (and promote your retail store).

Make sure you and your employees are well-versed about the oil, as expertise is key to successful selling.

4. Nail It

Teen girls mentioned above are a hot market for nail polish, but they’re not the only ones. Nail polish sales hit an all-time high last year, reaching $768 million, an increase of 32 percent from 2011. New lines started or endorsed by pop stars and fashion designers are driving the trend, as are innovations like stick-on polish and designs, glitter, crackle surface treatments and nail art.

These creative nail products are attracting everyone from tween girls to conservative adult women and even men. Yes, men are getting in on the nail polish act.

Market researcher Mintel reported last year that 25 percent of men ages 18-34 have had manicures or pedicures. Entrepreneur Josh Espley started Alpha Nail to make nail polish:

. . .for strength, for style, for swagger, for protection, or to cover up your [ugly] toenails.

Unless you’re in a large, trendy city, you may not sell too much nail polish for men just yet (try selling it online). But nail polish makes a great stocking stuffer for just about everyone. Try adding it to your boutique, retail store or salon and merchandising it at checkout as a last-minute impulse buy.

Whatever type of retail store you have, hopefully you can make at least one of these hot retail trends work for you this holiday shopping season.

Shopping Photo via Shutterstock

Rieva Lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is a Columnist for Small Business Trends covering employment, retail trends and women in business. She is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her blog, SmallBizDaily, to get the scoop on business trends and free TrendCast reports.