Posted by Dale Buss on December 14, 2012 12:18 PM
This year we saw "Black Friday" creep, with store openings encroaching on Thanksgiving a troubling US retail trend to many. Now, get ready for the overnight retail rush heading into the final stretch of Christmas shopping.
Macy's has announced it will be open 24 hours a day, starting at 7 a.m. on Friday, December 21, and running through 7 a.m. on Sunday, December 23. And now comes the announcement by Toys R Us that it will stay open nationwide for 88 continuous hours beginning at 6 a.m. on December 21 through 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
In fact, the Toys"R"Us global flagship in New York's Times Square is going for an even bigger record. It opened its doors for 24/7 shopping at 7am on Sunday, December 2, and is keeping them open until 10pm on Christmas Eve, "providing New Yorkers and visitors alike a record-breaking 543 consecutive hours to shop around the clock for all their gift-giving needs."
Whether any store really needs to stay open until 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve — how much of a procrastinator do you have to be to be Christmas shopping at that hour? and how much overtime are the workers getting for those overnight shifts? — is another issue. Does a never-close-the-doors promotion really help time-stressed consumers and help the retailer pick up market share during an already-frenetic month?Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 27, 2012 09:06 AM
Aston Martin draws bids.
ConAgra to buy Ralcorp in huge packaged-foods deal.
Nintendo sells out Wii U in first week in US.
Adidas features celebs including Snoop Lion, other celebrities in Ebenezer Scrooge holiday campaign.
Airbus jabs Boeing with "Pinocchio nose" in ad campaign.
Barnes & Noble updates holiday wish lists via Nook campaign.
Bombardier signs largest-ever deal, with VistaJet.
Ericsson files patent claim against Samsung.
Mario Batali expands restaurant empire to Boston.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 26, 2012 05:07 PM
We won’t know for sure until tomorrow, but according to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, “all signs point to Cyber Monday being a banner year for retailers, marketers and CMOs. With sales up 24.1 percent over 2011, the multiscreen shopper is out in full force this year.”
Black Friday in-store sales were undercut by Thanksgiving Early Bird sales, as well as mobile and web e-commerce, and according to the Wall Street Journal, "Total spending for the weekend reached an estimated $59.1 billion, a 13% increase from a year ago, according to the National Retail Federation...A consumer survey conducted for the trade association by BIGinsight found that shoppers spent an average of $423 over the weekend, up 6% from $398 last Thanksgiving weekend."
Sales projections for today, re-christened ‘Mobile Monday,’ will be further fueled by smartphones leveraging a plethora of apps. "Our findings reinforce that mobile is not just another channel," Chia Chen, mobile practice leader for Digitas, told Mobile Commerce Daily. "It's a technology-driven cultural phenomenon that is changing how people are connecting to brands and commerce.” Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 25, 2012 10:10 PM
The so-called "Grey Thursday" pre-Black Friday rush didn't seem to stop Walmart from having its best Black Friday ever. So how did it all play out over the weekend, and as Cyber Monday morphs into Mobile Monday?
According to the Wall Street Journal, "Total spending for the weekend reached an estimated $59.1 billion, a 13% increase from a year ago, according to the National Retail Federation. Last year the group said sales rose 16% over the weekend. A consumer survey conducted for the trade association by BIGinsight found that shoppers spent an average of $423 over the weekend, up 6% from $398 last Thanksgiving weekend."
As noted by Reuters, comScore estimated that "Black Friday sales during the 24 hours of November 23 passed $1 billion ($1.042 billion) in online sales for the first time, making it the heaviest online spending day to date in 2012 (with 57 million shoppers visiting e-commerce sites) and a 26-percent increase versus Black Friday 2011. Thanksgiving Day (November 22), while traditionally a lighter day for online holiday spending, achieved a strong 32-percent increase to $633 million."
According to IBM's Black Friday 2012 report, US shoppers once again took advantage of early promotions this holiday season, driving a 17.4 percent increase in online sales Thanksgiving Day. This increase set the stage for 20.7 percent growth on Black Friday. Online sales on Black Friday increased 21% over last year, IBM estimated by analyzing data from 500 retailers, including 50 of the 100 largest web retailers. The biggest surge came from mobile consumers, with sales reaching 16.3 percent, led by the iPad. Other takeaways by IBM:Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 23, 2012 10:01 AM
Security cameras are pretty much everywhere – even places you don’t suspect. In 2005, the New York Civil Liberties Union counted 4,176 cameras below 14th Street in Manhattan alone, according to Discovery.com. And the number has multiplied since. Cute Rockwell's 2004 hit song, "Somebody's Watching Me."
A 2007 documentary called Look claims that there were more than 30 million surveillance cameras across the country and that the average American is recorded 200 times a day. You have to wonder what the filmmakers would have made of Italian mannequin maker Almax SpA, whose EyeSee technology embeds surveillance cameras in its mannequins' eyes.
The $5,130 mute models boast cameras with facial-recognition software so the retailer can keep track of the ages, ethnicities, and gender of those peering into store windows or wandering through the racks, Bloomberg reports. Sure, it can be used as a security measure, but the EyeSee is more about watching what kinds of customers are already coming into the store, traffic patterns, and gleaning other shopper insights to create new revenue streams.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 23, 2012 07:58 AM
Black Friday shoppers in the US (and Canada) could set a record today, as the post-Thanksgiving annual retail rush is on.
Here in New York, just before midnight on Thanksgiving evening, I observed massive line-ups at the corner of Broadway and Lafayette for Adidas and Best Buy on the northeast corner of that intersection, and smaller queues starting at the southeast corner for Hollister, H&M, Uniqlo and, across the street, American Eagle and Victoria's Secret. Police, using bullhorns, tried to get the crowds to disperse by announcing, "Stores don't open until 8 A.M." — but the shoppers, mostly in their late teens and 20's it appeared, were undeterred.
All eyes, in particular, are on Walmart today, which has been downplaying the threat of OUR Walmart-organized employee strike action at its stores across the US, which are being organized online and shared on Twitter via the #walmartstrikers, #changewalmart and #makingchange hashtags, and on Tumblr.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 22, 2012 03:03 PM
This holiday shopping season is all about mobile, and Google wants to help Black Friday shoppers not get lost. Last November, the Google Maps app headed indoors, mapping the interiors of locations such as IKEA, airports and shopping meccas such as Mall of America. This month, it expanded its indoor retail mapping in time for Black Friday sales beyond Android devices, and now offers "over 10,000 detailed floor plans of locations in nine countries," including Macy's New York City flagship. Google is also promoting its voice-activated search app this holiday season.
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 22, 2012 09:02 AM
Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers! Businesses prepare for Black Friday rush as record number of US retailers (including strike-threatened Walmart, Kmart, Target and Toys R Us opening on Thanksgiving) and consumer sentiment remains "shaky." Google notes American Thanksgiving with homepage logo nod to Macy's parade (above) and a round-up of holiday links.
Apple must disclose HTC deal to Samsung.
BBC praised for appointing outsider — Royal Opera House CEO Tony Hall — as director general.
BlackBerry 10 prep revs up RIM outlook.
Coca-Cola enters F1 with Burn energy drink brand sponsoring the Lotus racing team.
GE retired CEO Jack Welch "unretirement" makes cover of Bloomberg Businessweek.Continue reading...