With only a few days to go before Christmas, it isn’t too late to flaunt the ugliest Christmas sweater of the year. So if you still don’t have one, might as well browse at UglyChristmasSweater.com to get one. Now after chuckling at the hilarious designs, you might wonder how lucrative the ugly Christmas sweater niche is. In only a few trips around the sun, the ugly Christmas sweater has skyrocketed from small pop culture trend to an annual tradition embraced not only by families and households but in large corporate Christmas gatherings as well.
“I first noticed it in 2011 when people were having ugly sweater parties at home,” said the co-founder of UglyChristmasSweater.com Fred Hajjar.
“I went on eBay and saw these old Christmas sweaters your grandma would wear, selling for $100 to $300,” said Fred. He was already in an online venture at that time but with another product line.
Fred then decided to partake in the trend albeit not projecting that it will go on for another 3 years with no signs of dying soon.
With Fred’s brother Mark, they launched UglyChristmasSweater.com before the Christmas of 2012.
During their first year, they sold $40,000 worth of sweaters in sales. “We got into the season late and with limited inventory,” he said.
But being more prepared in the following year, sales soared at 300%, and from that standpoint climbed up another 275% the year after that. This year, their target of selling $5.5 million worth of ugly sweaters is on tracks.
“The momentum has been incredible,” said Hajjar. The company operates a 42,000-square-foot warehouse in Detroit in which 30% of the total land area is dedicated to the ugly Christmas sweaters no less.
With 30 regular employees still unable to handle a surge in demand, they employed 20 more seasonal employees to help with the holiday demand this year.
“We also now have two full-time employees dedicated to social media because ugly sweaters are such a viral topic,” Hajjar added.
The design options have also considerably extended in the last few years. Instead of just resurfacing retro holiday kind of sweaters, typically featuring Christmas trees and reindeer, there is no limit to the theme they venture. It seems like consumers like it more bizarre.