MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Kantar Retail: Black Friday diluted as promotional activity timeline expands

BY Marianne Wilson

Boston – A new study shows just how diluted Black Friday has become to holiday shoppers: Twenty-eight percent of shoppers shopped in stores Nov. 22/Nov. 23 and 34% of shoppers chose to shop in stores the weekend after Black Friday (Nov. 29/Nov. 30), while 25% shopped on Black Friday, according to Kantar Retail.

In other results, 65% of shoppers surveyed chose not to shop because of crowds while 42% stayed out of stores to avoid traffic.

"Retailers have directly addressed these concerns by encouraging shoppers to shift which day around Thanksgiving they choose to shop," said Robin Sherk, director Retail Insights and contributor to the study. "This expanded promotional activity explains why so many shopped on days around the event and also explains why about one in five of those who chose not to shop Black Friday did so because they did not find the Black Friday-specific deals exciting, believing there are comparable deals on other days."

But the popularity of the weekend before Black Friday shopping in stores has not yet translated online. Additional study findings reveal that Cyber Monday remains the most popular day around Thanksgiving for shopping online with 37% of shoppers planning to shop on this day. "As more deals—and crowds—shift to the weekend before Thanksgiving, Kantar Retail expects that online-only holiday deals will likewise start to gain shoppers’ attention the weekend before Black Friday," Sherk notes.



According to shoppers surveyed, Walmart and Amazon offered the "most exciting" Black Friday sales while about one in five Black Friday shoppers didn’t find any of the leading national Mass, Club, Department, Home Improvement, Specialty, or Apparel retailers’ offers particularly exciting.

An examination of Black Friday promotions this year reveals several emerging trends as retailers seek to generate deeper excitement for their offers.

"Holiday promotional themes most compelling this season are those designed to build relevance with more targeted holiday offers for core shoppers and those that elevate the excitement of Grey Thursday/Black Friday beyond specific sale items," Sherk said, notes. "And, we’re seeing retailers doing more to connect deals with in-store services and link sales directly to helping others."

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Shoppers prefer mobile devices over store employees, in-store info

BY Marianne Wilson

ARLINGTON, Va. – More than half (58%) of shoppers who use mobile devices say they prefer to look up information on their devices while shopping, rather than talk to store employees – especially among men and shoppers aged 25-44 – according to a new by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Additionally, 62% of mobile shoppers indicate they perceive the information they gather via their mobile device as more beneficial than the information available in-store via product displays or sales literature.

The report, “Enchaning the In-Store CE Retail Experience Using Mobile Devices,” finds that mobile shoppers most often use their mobile devices for assistance when shopping for electronics (60%) than any other product type. Following electronics, mobile shoppers most frequently use their devices while shopping in physical retail stores for groceries (55%), apparel (47%), shoes (45%), and health and beauty products (39%).

While shopping specifically for electronics, mobile shoppers use their devices to compare prices (63%), read customer ratings or reviews (52%) and search the Internet for more information (51%).

Mobile shoppers indicated they are concerned about privacy (61∞) and security (58∞) when using their devices while shopping in the store.

At the same time, they see the benefit of having a relationship with retailers as 81 percent of mobile shoppers indicate they would be willing to share some form of personal data with retailers in exchange for benefits in return. Current GPS location information (48%) is the most common type of data mobile shoppers are willing to share, followed by user profile information (46%) and personal contact information (40%).

Consumer use of mobile devices to compare products and prices and find deals from retailers will be more important than ever during the 2014 holiday weekend. According to CEA’s 21st Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study, two-thirds (67 percent) of consumers who plan to spend money on tech this holiday season are likely to use a mobile device to help them shop. Interestingly, those likely to use mobile devices to help them shop for tech products plan to spend more money on electronics this holiday season.

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REAL ESTATE

Lululemon opens West Coast flagship

BY Marianne Wilson

New York – Lululemon on Thursday will open a 5,766-sq.-ft. flagship at Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Calif.. The visual centerpiece of the store is an intricately-laid domed mosaic ceiling—in a vibrant blue hue—that reads, "Breath deep & appreciate the moment." The storefront boasts a colorful, two-story, illuminated glass corner.

Similar to other Lululemon stores, the Santa Monica location will offer free in-store classes and workshops. In addition to Lululemon’s core audience of fitness- and yoga-minded female shoppers, the store is also targeting like-minded men with an area designed specifically for them .

Menemsha Solutions, Torrance, Calif., provided architectural and permitting services and served as general contractor for the store.

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