It’s go time for retailers as the holiday season kicks into high gear. With Black Friday the last day of November, there are six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so retailers have started Black Friday deals even earlier than normal and have even more on the line. According to Cowen retail analyst Oliver Chen, “”We’re in a very strong consumer environment. If you’re having difficulties, what does it mean for the future?” Morning Consult Economic Intelligence currently holds at 110.2 — close to its highest measure in a year and above the 100 line that divides positive from negative impressions of economic outlook. 

But before holiday shopping officially begins, many other retailers made headlines this month. Alibaba’s Singles Day on November 11 beat Amazon’s Prime Day sales within an hour of being live, generating $13 billion in sales. Reports came out that luxury reseller The RealReal had sold counterfeit merchandise, calling into question its authentication process. And lastly, LVMH announced it would purchase Tiffany for $16.2 billion, the largest ever in the luxury sector, giving LVMH more access to the US market and helping Tiffany in Europe and China. 

Here’s what else caught our eye in November:

While the holiday retail news is rosy overall, it is less so for beauty brands. Retail Dive reports that beauty may have a tough holiday season as Gen Z shoppers turn away from makeup. Piper Jaffray’s annual teen survey found a drop in teen interest around cosmetics, as well as a decrease in the amount of teens that actually wear makeup, dropping to 38% from 53% 18 months ago. However, as makeup decreased, skincare has increased. According to the NPD Group, skincare category rose 7% over Q32018. 

Vox’s The Good’s took a look at a recent tweet of a Sephora store in Europe that gave customers the option of two different color shopping baskets which signified if they wanted help or wanted to be left alone. The attention showed that customers do want in-store customer service help but only on their own terms. And that a solution can be as simple as giving customers a choice in how they want to be approached. 

Vogue Business reported on two separate digital shopping stories. H&M’s Monki brand has been experimenting with live streaming, which allow viewers to interact with the hosts and other shoppers, and add products to an online shopping cart. Live streaming is already big in China, with local livestreams reaching 456 million viewers and generating $4.4 billion in sales in 2018, an increase of 37 per cent over the previous year, according to Deloitte.

London’s Hot Second is the first digital clothing store, that allows shoppers to try on digital garments – but not purchase them – in exchange for a donated piece of clothing. Guided by a human “digital tailor,” guests are led into pods equipped with a camera, projector and a “magic mirror” to sample looks from British designer Christopher RaeburnThe Fabricant and Carlings. According to the article, “Digital clothing generally refers to 3D-rendered garments that can be dressed on a digital avatar or overlayed on an image of a person. Because it offers newness and diversity for social media feeds without the need to create physical garments, proponents argue that it is a powerful and more sustainable alternative to fast fashion.”