BDO USA: Retailers forecast small uptick on Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Chicago -- According to a BDO USA survey of 100 CMOs at leading U.S. retailers, just 27% expect to see an increase in Black Friday sales, down from 38% in 2010.

Similarly, only 24% project an increase in Cyber Monday sales, with the vast majority (74%) expecting flat sales. Overall, CMOs project a 1.6% increase in Black Friday sales (down from 3.8% in 2010) and a 2.5% increase in Cyber Monday sales.

The vast majority of CMOs (78%) said they expect to see more discounts and promotions overall this holiday season compared to last year. This is up 21% from 2010 when 64% of retailers said they expected to see more discounting.

“Black Friday is not disappearing, but deal-fatigued shoppers have been there and done that,” said Ted Vaughan, partner in the Retail and Consumer Product Practice at BDO USA, LLP. “With new promotional strategies and earlier discounting, retailers are looking to create more spending triggers to get an edge and keep inventory moving throughout the season.”

Other major findings of the BDO Retail Compass Survey of CMOs include: 42% of CMOs are equally focusing promotions and discounts online and in stores this year – a dramatic change from 2010 when 59% said they were focusing the majority of promotions and discounts just in stores.  

Most CMOs (51%) expect retailers will offer the most discounts in the electronics category this year, followed by apparel (25%).

When asked what online promotional tactic will convert the most sales this season, CMOs are split between email promotions (28%), search engine marketing (26%) and the ever-popular free shipping (23%). Promotions via social media are seen as the top sales tool for another 18% of CMOs, up 80% from 2010 (10%).

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