Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 2, 2013 04:52 PM
It’s tricky to find consensus on the success of this weekend’s spending, but one thing is a fact—Black Friday marked the first billion-dollar-plus day of this year’s holiday shopping season.
Accorind to comScore, consumers spent $1.2 billion online, with sales up 18.9 percent this year from last as retailers pushed their open hours from Friday to Thanksgiving day.
"Consumers appear to have responded to retailers' strong push to get them in the stores and online early this year," Shawn DuBravac, CEA chief economist and senior director of research, told USA Today. "The dust is still settling, but early indications point to a weekend of record-breaking online sales and a healthy appetite for key tech products."
ShopperTrak reports that sales were off 13.2 percent on Black Friday, but with more stores open earlier on Thanksgiving this year, and for longer hours, the combined sales of Thursday and Friday were actually up 2.3 percent over the same two days last year. Still, a more somber take from the National Retail Federation puts the weekend spend at about $1.7 billion less than in 2012. “There are some economic challenges that many Americans still face,” Matthew Shay, CEO, NRF, told the New York Times. “So in general terms, many are intending to be a little bit more conservative with their budgets.”Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 29, 2013 03:03 PM
With seven million fewer people than last year expected to shop this holiday weekend, Black Friday promised to offer even greater, more desperate discounts and the subsequent sad, human spectacle those discounts guarantee. A tragic situation for retailers; a feast for the unsympathetic, bloodthirsty spectators of Rome America.
Still, the mad rush so far seems to have been worth it. Early reports are indicating solid consumer turnouts for Thanksgiving day/night sales, while e-commerce is already up 7 percent this year compared to last, according to IBM's Benchmark data. Mobile has appeared to be a strong player this year, accounting for 37 percent of all online shopping traffic and nearly 22 percent of sales as of noon, eastern-time, today.
With sales starting as early as the afternoon of Thanksgiving itself, shoppers and spectators alike still well lubricated with wine, those looking for the melees of Black Friday found it early this year. Walmart seemed to be the epicenter of the chaos but other stores got mentions as well. So here's a Twitter round-up of some of the more notable incidents, plus one development that proves it isn't only Black Friday that's moving to Thursday.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2013 07:02 PM
Thanksgiving is a time to share with loved ones, express gratitude, and take stock of the ad frenzy that is holiday shopping. And with brands turning the clock forward on Black Friday promos, marketing teams are in an all-out race to grab the attention of savings-hungry consumers.
According to research from Shareablee, of the top 25 retailers on Facebook in the first half of November, Walmart accounted for 27 percent of the total shares by fans, followed by QVC with 9 percent, and Macy’s and Nordstrom at 8 percent. On Twitter, BestBuy is dominant with 30 percent of retweets in the category, followed by Nordstrom at 9 percent, Ebay and Target at 8 percent respectively and Walmart at 6 percent.
Target has outpaced all retail competition with six times more Black Friday posts than any other brand, while JCPenney’s one Black Friday post earned the highest level of engagement with over 54,000 likes, comments and shares.
Are you planning on braving the crowds? If so, here's some offers to keep an eye out for:Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2013 11:14 AM
Best Buy, no stranger to Black Friday-related madness, is prompting camped-out shoppers to create Vine videos using hashtag #VineinLine in an invitation issued through Twitter ads.
To prepare for the pandemonium, a Best Buy store in Denver, Co. held a dress rehearsal. Store manager Doug Ryan told his team, "Black Friday, in my opinion, is the funnest day at Best Buy," according to the Denver Post. “The energy of the customers coming into the store, the fact they are choosing us—it's a special atmosphere." That is, until someone gets trampled.
After his intro, employees broke into departments for detailed briefings on door-buster deals, pricing, inventories and how to pitch extended-warranty protection and store credit cards. Department manager Kevin Ribbens described the training as "'bum rushing’ individual departments with dozens of workers playing frantic customers posing endless questions—sometimes with an element of impatience."
Last year Best Buy opened stores at midnight for Black Friday, but this year, like so many other retailers out to grab any edge they can, its stores will open Thanksgiving evening.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 20, 2013 07:12 PM
John Lewis’ 2013 Christmas campaign in the UK, a seasonal rite of passage, is “a £7m multi-media festive extravaganza,” animated by Disney's Lion King artists and costing £1m alone.
It’s just one example of how high (and early) the bar is being set for branded holiday ads this year as shoppers around the world, weary from escalating costs-of-living and economic challenges, plan to spend only $800 this holiday season on gifts, down from $854 last year.
And so retailers are pulling out all the stops to get attention from consumers, hoping to draw them in with witty and charming ads and deep promotional discounts. UK advertisers alone are set to spend nearly $630 million on ads in the last three months of the year, while American brands got a head start, with Kmart airing its first holiday-related ad one-hundred days before Christmas. Indeed, advertisers seem to be heading back to the small-screen while maintaining a solid presence on social media to get the most out of holiday promotional efforts.
And that has led some brands to go above and beyond. From Kmart's controversial "Show Your Joe" ad to Best Buy and Marks & Spencer's celebrity-heavy campaigns, brands are working hard to get the attention of shoppers.
Here's some of the most extravagant holiday ads we've seen so far:Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 19, 2013 04:55 PM
Despite pulling off a relative comeback in the last year, Best Buy told shareholders Monday that they shouldn't expect the retailer's fourth-quarter results to be hugely profitable. With retailers grappling with slow consumer spending and the prospect of a grim holiday season, Best Buy said price-slashing tactics by competitors will force price margins to get very tight.
The Wall Street Journal notes that “the warning came after rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. this month revealed a series of aggressive holiday promotions that threatened to depress margins across the consumer-electronics sector.” Best Buy is going to open its stores on the evening of Thanksgiving, just like Walmart and several other major retailers, but it is keeping secret a lot of its discounts so that it won’t be undersold by competitors.
"If our competition is in fact more promotional in the fourth quarter, we will be too," CFO Sharon McCollam said during a conference call with analysts.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 19, 2013 09:31 AM
JCPenney launches first holiday campaign under new CMO.
P&G and other detergent makers face new federal alarm over pod safety and kids.
Apple is probed for alleged tax evasion in Italy.
3M still searches for growth.
Best Buy warns of promotional pressures.
Buick could use a flagship model, GM CEO says.
Campbell Soup sees earnings slashed.
Daimler open to selling stake to Chinese partner.
Discovery Communications allows streaming via Time Warner Cable.
Dropbox seeks $8 billion valuation.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 6, 2013 04:55 PM
What happens when commerce trumps tradition? A lot of angry consumers (and employees).
That's what major retailers Kmart, Macy's, Walmart, Kohl's and others are finding out as they continue to blur the line between the Thanksgiving holiday and the major shopping event that is Black Friday. Kmart has put itself in the line of fire as it recently announced that it will open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving and remain open for 41 straight hours through 11 p.m. Friday. Sears, too, will open up at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving and remain open through Friday, while Macy's bowed under pressure and for the first time, will open its US stores on Thanksgiving evening. Last year, Target fielded a steady stream of backlash after announcing it would open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night.
The trend is no doubt a reaction to the sluggish retail market as brands fear the lack of spending will continue through the 2013 holiday season. Brands are so worried, in fact, that they are not only launching their holiday campaigns early, but also their special holiday deals. Walmart kicked off its online promotion last week—one month earlier than usual.
But their concerns aren't unfounded. A National Foundation for Credit Counseling poll found that 53 percent of shoppers plan to spend less on holiday gift giving this year than they did in 2012, with one-third planning to spend nothing and only 3 percent intending to spend more.Continue reading...