'Tis the 'ugly Christmas sweater' season that's a multimillion-dollar trend
Whether online or in stores, the ugly holiday sweater season is in full swing
Whether online or in stores, the ugly holiday sweater season is in full swing, with businesses and brands capitalizing on the multimillion-dollar “ugly sweater” trend.
Online, Poshmark’s Christmas sweater listings have skyrocketed so far this year compared to last, the resale site's founder and CEO, Manish Chandra told FOX Business.
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From Oct. 1 to Dec. 10, 2019, “listings of Christmas sweaters increased 44 [percent] compared to last holiday season [during the same period], further proving that the trend is here to stay,” said Chandra, in an emailed statement.
Meanwhile, “Shark Tank” success Tipsy Elves sold more than 5,000 sweaters, from 2018 to when the brand was created in 2012, Business Insider reported. After appearing on the hit show and partnering with "shark" Robert Herjavec, the company has grown to bring in more than $70 million in sales between 2012 and last year, according to the report.
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UglyChristmasSweater.com's sales took off when the company was started by brothers Fred and Mark Hajjar in 2012. The e-commerce retailer's sales are up roughly 10 percent this year versus last, Fred Hajjar told FOX Business on Wednesday. Sales in 2018 jumped 12 percent from the previous year, DigitalCommerce360.com reported.
“As it first started, it was grandma’s old sweater. Now, customers want more of a wow effect," Hajjar said. "For five consecutive years prior to that, we’ve been up double digits. We’ve never had a down year, year to year, since 2012.”
“We have a background in manufacturing costumes and a sweater is kind of like a costume and we noticed on eBay in 2011, some sweaters were selling for $500-plus and we were shocked," Fred Hajjar told FOX Business in 2017. "So we bought the domain name and launched the business."
The company has since partnered with YouTube influencers PewDiePie and Ninja.
Earlier this month, actor and entrepreneur Ryan Reynolds' Aviation American Gin announced a partnership with UglyChristmasSweaters.com for its own "subjectively attractive" sweaters.
As it first started, it was grandma’s old sweater
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Nonetheless, retail giants, such as Kohl’s, Target and Macy’s are offering their own versions of the trending tops, for all shapes and sizes.
Popular restaurant chains White Castle, Red Lobster and, most recently, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, have hopped on the bandwagon this year to offer their own versions of “ugly” holiday sweaters.
Popeyes announced Wednesday the restaurant brand had partnered with UglyChristmasSweater.com to create its own version of an “Ugly Christmas Sweater,” a restaurant spokesperson said in a press release.
The orange and white sweaters, which are emblazoned with images of the popular chicken sandwich, snowflakes, Christmas trees and the restaurant name, sell for $44.95 for a limited time.
Red Lobster’s personalized sweaters are $39.99, and are fitted with an insulated front pocket pouch – just in case someone wants to store some biscuits for later. The sweaters sold out within 48 hours, but will not be restocked this season, a restaurant spokesperson said.
"For those looking to turn heads at their office holiday party or give an unforgettable gift to a seafood-loving loved one, our Cheddar Bay Biscuit "Ugly" Holiday Sweater is guaranteed to help holiday enthusiasts sleigh all season long," said Salli Setta, Red Lobster’s president and chief concept officer, in a previous statement.
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Andre Champagne announced last month it partnered with the Tipsy Elves brand to create its own line of ugly sweaters. At the time of publication, the tops ranged in price from $48.95 – for a sweater outfitted with a gold stocking that fits a bottle of the bubbly – to $44.95.
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FOX Business reporters Daniella Genovese and Jeanette Settembre contributed to this report.