MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

NRF: Consumers to spend less on Mother’s Day

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – Consumers this year will celebrate Mother’s Day keeping practicality in mind. According to NRF’s 2014 Mother’s Day Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, Americans will spend an average of $162.94 on Mother’s Day in 2014, down 3.5% from a survey high of $168.94 in 2013. Total spending is expected to reach $19.9 billion.

Most consumers will purchase a greeting card (81.3%), and two-thirds (66.6%) of those celebrating will buy flowers, spending a total of $2.3 billion, and 33.5% will spend a total of $1.7 billion on apparel and accessory items. Other popular items include books and CDs ($480 million), housewares or gardening tools ($812 million), personal experience gifts like a day at the spa ($1.5 billion), jewelry ($3.6 billion), and special outings like brunch or dinner ($3.8 billion).

About 13% of survey respondents say they will buy a consumer electronic item and will spend a total of $1.7 billion, down 26% from $2.3 billion last year. Spending on gift cards will rise 5% to $2.1 billion from $2 billion in 2013, with 43.3% of consumers purchasing a gift card, up from 41.5% the prior year.

Most shoppers will head to specialty stores to find gifts (33.5%), but others will shop at department stores (32.4%), discount stores (24%), and online (29%).

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey reports big rise in consumer confidence

BY Ryan Chavis

Chicago — Consumer confidence rose significantly in the first quarter of 2014, according to a MarketPulse survey from IRI. All age groups are reporting a more positive outlook — especially Millennials. A distressed consumer segment since the economic downturn began, this age group is showing the greatest rise in confidence.

“The headline for the first quarter is definitely the surge in consumer confidence,” said Susan Viamari, editor of Thought Leadership at IRI. “Consumers say they are feeling more confident about their household finances and don’t feel like they need to sacrifice as much in order to make ends meet. However, it’s important to remember that consumers are still entrenched in their conservative shopping strategies, so CPG marketers still need to work at finding pockets of opportunities.”

The survey also touched on shopping strategies: consumers continue to remain comfortable with shopping patterns they adopted during the downturn. Seventy percent of consumers make a shopping list before they even step foot inside a store, and 75% make their purchasing decisions before entering. IRI noted that these figures haven’t shifted since 2011.

Since 19% of all consumers (and 26% of Millennials) have trouble affording groceries, shoppers are still on the lookout for a good deal. Thirty-three percent of all consumers and 40% of Millennials buy more than one-half of their goods "on deal."

How are they getting the deals? It should come as no surprise that consumers are flocking to the Internet to scope things out:

•Twenty-nine percent download coupons from retailers’ websites;

•Twenty-nine percent download coupons from a manufacturer’s website;

•Twenty-five percent of consumers research products on website;

•Ninteen percent go to online deal sites like Groupon and SmartSource; and

•Eleven percent head over to social media platforms like Twitter to get coupons.

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OPERATIONS

REI elects two new members to board

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle — REI’s members recently elected two new directors to represent their interests on the co-op’s board of directors.

Karen E. (Kari) Glover and Sharon Philpott were elected to three-year terms and Cheryl Scott was re-elected to a three-year term. Earlier in the year, the REI board re-appointed Chloe Harford and Matt Compton to one-year terms.

Glover practiced law for 30 years at Preston Gates & Ellis, where she was managing partner of the firm. Currently, she serves on the board of trustees of her alma mater, Whitman College, and on the board of United Way Worldwide where she is the chair of the executive compensation committee.

Philpott is a certified public accountant and currently is a member of the finance and audit committee of the Oregon Health and Science University Foundation and on the advisory council of The Wendy and Emery Reves Center for International Studies at The College of William and Mary.

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