It’s the season of old Kris Kringle, and whether you like it or not, along with it comes the commercialization of Christmas. While this is great for retailers and related exchange traded funds (ETFs), it really bums out good old Charlie Brown.
Commercialization is a far larger source of concern to the public and investors than, say, the opposition to the display of religious symbols in public places. No matter if you celebrate Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or Christmas, everybody participates in retail purchases of one type or another. [A strong November in retail sales gives way to good hopes for December sales.]
As retailers and others crank up Christmas classics during the holiday season, an overwhelming majority of Americans, 87%, have no objection at all to the “jingle bell rock” played in public during the “most wonderful time of the year.” Only 7% are bothered “a lot” or “some” by hearing Christmas music in stores and public places, says Jodie Allen for U.S. News & World Report.
According to a CEA survey of consumers, 80% of adults surveyed expect to buy technology as a gift this holiday season, which the CEA said is the “highest figure in the history of the study.” In fact, this year is the first time in 25 years that electronics (30%) and toys (30.8%) have tied. Last year, the same survey found 23.7% buying electronics most often compared to 33.8% buying toys most often, reports Robert Kittle for Channel 7 news.
- SPDR Select Sector Technology Fund (NYSEArca: XLK): up 49.9% year-to-date
Consumers are on the hunt for flat-panel TVs, low prices on laptop computers and Blu-ray DVD players, as well as netbook computers.
In the days before Christmas, the U.S. online retail sector showed strong sales results from Dec. 14 – Dec. 20, 2009 compared to the same period last year according to Coremetrics, the leader in marketing optimization.
Retailers have done a tremendous job of pushing bargains not just on a specific day, but throughout the season. When you combine the special promotions with guaranteed delivery dates, up-to-date inventory information and the ability to shop from the comfort and warmth of your own home, it’s easy to see why online shopping is proving compelling to consumers this season, reports MarketWire.
- SPDR S&P Retail (NYSEArca: XRT): up 79% year-to-date
- First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund (NYSEAcra: FDN): up 80.4% year-to-date
Sorry Chuck! ETF Trends wishes you a Merry Christmas and good tidings throughout the new year!
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.