Christmas is an especially hard time on some US Merchants however, while all retailers hope they have the right items at the right prices, a few, like clothing chain Gap Inc. and jeweler Zale Corp., are trying to perk up vanishing brands after several seasons in which merchandise missteps turned off consumers. Other stores, like electronics company Best Buy Co. and fashionable discounter Target Corp., are trying to adapt their big-box business models to deal with the rise in online retailing.
All these brands are carefully watching, Amazon Inc., which is making an even bolder effort to pull customers away from malls and reshape the retailing industry. The online company is planning to capture an even bigger share of the exploding market for digital movies, books and music, with a $199 Kindle Fire tablet that steers even more customers to the company’s Web bazaar. Though the holiday season of 2011 is unlikely to make or break any company, it figures to be a turning point for a few, especially when they are grabbing for a relatively stagnant share of dollars gripped tight by wary consumers.