OPERATIONS

Booze & Co.: Shopping trends for 2012 holiday season

BY Allison Cerra

New York – Emerging consumer buying trends will have significant implications for retailers this holiday season, according to a new survey from Booz & Co.

In its 1,600-person survey — which polled consumers, retail store staff and retail executives to determine buying habits and potential trends for this holiday season — Booz & Co. found that in-store competitive browsing, heavy online shopping and downloaded gifts top the new shopper behaviors expected this holiday season. The company specifically called attention to multichannel shopping, which it said will be a core part of how consumers shop: 40% of surveyed consumers describe "showcasing" as their new shopping strategy: browsing in-store before buying online, which creates a major challenge for brick-and-mortar retailers.

Additional key findings include:

  • 52% of consumers will closely consider affordability in their shopping decisions;
  • 73% of consumers said they expect to find great deals this season, compared with 62% last year;
  • 51% of consumers reported that economic survival is a great reason for celebrating this year;
  • More than 80 million shoppers plan to purchase gift cards this season, about 4% more than last year;
  • Downloadable gifts will become a distinct and rapidly growing category this year, as 45% of consumers expect to give at least one downloadable gift (i.e., an e-book, a music download or a movie);
  • 53% of consumers intend to buy at least one luxury item (up from 41% last year), and the item is likely to be one the whole family can enjoy; and
  • Consumers are looking forward to the holiday more than last year; 53% expect to host multiple gatherings, compared with 45% last year.

"The biggest challenge this season for brick-and-mortar retailers is determining how to drive more than their fair share of ‘showcasing volume’ to their websites rather than Amazon.com or another competitor," said Thom Blischok, chief retail strategist for Booz & Co. "While technology enhancements and economic uncertainty will both impact this holiday season, there is a dose of optimism compared to 2011, as people shop with a value-seeking mindset."

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Apr-02-2013 08:52 pm

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Apr-02-2013 08:52 pm

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OPERATIONS

Survey: Four out of five smartphone users access retail content

BY Marianne Wilson

Reston, Va. — Four in every five smartphone users – 85.9 million in total – accessed retail content on their device in July, according to a study by comScore. Amazon sites led as the top retailer with an audience of 49.6 million visitors, representing 46.6% of smartphone owners, followed by eBay with 32.6 million visitors and Apple with 17.7 million visitors.

Wal-Mart had the largest reach among traditional brick-and-mortar retailers with 16.3 million visitors, followed by Target with 10 million visitors and Best Buy with 7.2 million smartphone visitors.

“With nearly 86 million Americans now shopping on their smartphones, this pronounced shift in consumer behavior is simply too large for retailers to ignore, with the future of their business depending on how well they adapt to the new environment," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior VP mobile. “The retailers who best understand how consumers are engaging in mobile shopping behaviors and design their strategies accordingly will be best positioned to capitalize on these shifting market dynamics."

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REAL ESTATE

Nordstrom Rack announces three new locations

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — Nordstrom announced plans to open Nordstrom Rack stores in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa, Wis.; Ann Arbor, Mich., and Columbus, Ohio.

It will be the retailer’s first location in the state of Wisconsin.

The approximately 36,000-sq.-ft. store in Wauwatosa, Wis., is scheduled to open in spring 2014 at The Mayfair Collection, a 250,000-sq.-ft. planned adaptive reuse development of a former industrial complex and distribution center.

The approximately 30,000-sq.-ft. store in Ann Arbor is scheduled to open in spring 2013, at Arborland Center. It will be the retailer’s third Rack store in the state of Michigan.

The approximately 35,000-sq.-ft. store in Columbus is scheduled to open in fall 2013, at Easton Market, an existing power center located next to Easton Town Center.

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