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 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 Shirley Brady on November 22, 2012 10:42 AM
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital celebrates Thanksgiving with messages from its roster of celebrity supporters including Marlo Thomas, daughter of founder Danny Thomas, plus Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Aniston, Robin Williams, Michael Strahan, Luis Fonsi, and Shaun White:Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 22, 2012 10:14 AM
Allstate's 2012 Thanksgiving campaign thanks its insurance agents (such as Frank Vento and Lilian Rodriguez, whose own home was flooded; watch their stories, below) for going above and beyond during super storm Sandy. Any other Thanksgiving campaigns you'd note today? Post a comment below. Allstate's message:
Sandy was one of the most devastating storms to hit our country in the last 50 years. Over 50 million Americans in 20 states were impacted. Today, Allstate would like to thank the over 1,000 Allstate Agents who worked around the clock, helping customers before, during and after, super storm Sandy. All of you truly are, Agents of Good. Share their good works with others.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 21, 2012 03:02 PM
The White House today was the scene of the annual pre-Thanksgiving turkey pardon, with Cobbler and Gobbler getting a reprieve — along with a shout-out to New York Times stats-cruncher Nate Silver ("once again, Nate Silver completely nailed it") and Facebook, the platform on which (in a first this year) the turkey pardon was opened to public voting. Portlandia-ready infographics (below) gave more details on each turkey's background to help voters decide. The First Family then went to Martha's Table, a food pantry in Washington, D.C., to help assemble Thanksgiving meals to be distributed to the less fortunate this holiday.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 20, 2012 06:03 PM
It's the holiday season already, but we're getting a late start on the whole peace and goodwill thing.
Peace? Don't look for it in millions of American homes on Thanksgiving afternoon as household members square off on whether they'll start hitting Target and other chains that are going to open that evening, or forswear what many see as one new intrusion too many on family traditions. Few retailers are as gutsy as Gander Mountain, the outdoor-retailing chain that is going the whole bird on Thanksgiving Day — open in many locations from 9 a.m. to midnight. However, as more bricks-and-mortar retailers invade the once-sacred time-space of Thanksigiving itself, preferring not to leave shopping on that day to the internet realm alone, they also are sparking more protests and regrets from rank-and-file Americans.
Goodwill? There won't be much of that in evidence at some Walmarts around the US on Friday, which is offering price-matching and a one-hour in-stock guarantee to shoppers — and the possibility of being short-staffed to handle the rush. Now that the chain seems to have gotten physical threats to doorbusters under control by preventing them from trampling one another, a new threat looms large: potential walkouts by workers and disruptions at about 1,000 stores across the country, caused by labor agitators who are organizing protests by as many members of Walmart's non-union workforce as they can.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 20, 2012 03:04 PM
Black Friday is mere days away and America’s (make that North America's) most-devoted consumers are busy doing their stretches, dressing themselves in layers, and plotting their battle plan for early Friday morning.
Retailers, of course, would like to help them in any way possible in order to maximize the amount of money flowing into their cash registers throughout the punishing annual bricks-and-mortar portion of the shopathon. More of that activity, of course, is moving online and mobile — but for those committed to the physical act of shopping, they'll need help — and brand marketers are anticipating their needs.
For these seeking retail rejuvenation on Friday, a host of caffeinated beverages and coffee retailers are throwing incentives their way to get them to suck down as much as possible to refuel while on the run.
For those who tweet #dunkindonuts on Friday morning between 6 a.m. and noon Eastern, they’ll get put in the running to win one of six Keurig brewers and two boxes of Dunkin’s Hot Cocoa K-Cup packs. Meanwhile, 7-Eleven is handing out a free hot beverage for folks who come in on Friday and buy a Red Bull energy drink. Sonic Drive-Thru is opening early nationwide and offering its breakfast burrito at half price all day. What else could a crazed Black Friday consumer want? Continue reading...