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Macy’s celebrates Groundhog Day with spring-themed images on social media

Retailers Macy’s, H&M and Anthropologie are burrowing through social media to celebrate the Punxsutawney groundhog not seeing his shadow and get an early start on warmer seasonal sales through eye-popping imagery.

While the tradition of Groundhog Day lives on in Punxsutawney, PA, retailers took to platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in an attempt to drive sales after news broke of the ceremony’s result. Macy’s shared images of its collection of sunglasses, while H&M linked to various spring-themed home décor and Anthropologie declared its excitement for warmer weather shoes.

“Groundhog Day, a widely recognized and popular tradition that predicts whether spring will come early or if winter will persist, is a perfect holiday to for retailers to build a spring campaign around,” said Gene Bornac, vice president at Boston Retail Partners. “Rather than wait for Easter, retailers can start promoting spring fashions early, especially when the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow, which is a sign for an early spring.”

Early spring declared
Groundhog Day is a traditional ceremony that relies on whether or not the animal sees his shadow to determine whether there will be an early end to winter. Yesterday, social media was abuzz with the favorable result of a premature arrival of spring, which opened the opportunity for retailers to jump-start warm weather sales with a playful take on the holiday.

Macy’s shared a GIF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which featured a variety of sunglasses products, each lighting up with a glare on the lenses one-by-one. The department store chain included a link to browse and purchase its wide collection of women’s sunglasses from various brands.

Users can browse by style, brand, color and face shape, a tool that provides the shopper with sunglasses that complement her features.

While Punxsutawney Phil is the most commonly known groundhog of the holiday, there is also the lesser-known Staten Island Chuck, who also made the same prediction yesterday. H&M included both animals in its tweet in which images of various warmer weather products were featured, such as pillowcases with palm tree designs, candles that smell and are shaped like pineapples and toucan-printed household items.

H&M tweeted out “#PunxsutawneyPhil and #StatenIslandChuck with the spring assist, get in the mood,” along with the hashtag #GroundhogDay and a link to its Tropicopop collection on its shoppable Web site.

Anthropologie showed a photograph of a woman riding a bicycle, wearing jeans and flats, with the caption “an early spring you say Phil, we are so ready to roll out our warm-weather shoes (aka, anything but boots),” with hashtags #hellosunshine, #groundhogday and #tuesdayshoeday and instructions to shop the link in bio. Interested users can click on the link listed on Anthropologie’s Instagram page, which brings them to a shoppable mobile page featuring all of the items showcased in the pictures.

Social media celebrations
Similarly, Kohl’s, Maison Jules and H&M were among the slew of retailers that shared product style images on social media, driving interest in New Year’s Eve attire to maximize the last of sales potential from the holiday season (see more).

Retailers such as Victoria’s Secret, Etsy, CVS and Walgreens took to social media in an attempt to squeeze out the most profits from holidays with posts assisting users with last-minute gift ideas and driving traffic to their online stores (see more).

“Sharing new spring styles on social media is a great way to spark interest in individual products and inspire shoppers to think about their spring wardrobe,” Mr. Bornac said. “Savvy retailers, like H&M, are capitalizing on the timing of Groundhog Day to be the first to showcase new spring fashions and generate early spring apparel sales.”