What Shoppers Can Expect This Holiday Season

Sapna Shah is keeping a close eye on retail behavior this holiday season. As a principal of consulting firm Retail Eye Partners, along with her partner Lisa Walters, Shah spends virtually every day visiting dozens of apparel, department, home furnishings and mass merchant stores and reporting her findings. Shah and Walters have visited more than 40,000 stores since founding the company in 2006 and release reports of what kinds of discounts and promotions they are seeing to their mailing list, sometimes multiple times a day. As Black Friday approaches, they are seeing a distinct trend toward lower inventories, more prominent signage and faster action from consumers as they try to grab up deals. Brandweek spoke with Shah about her work and what exactly is happening in retail stores this time of year.