FINANCE

Report: Sears considering selling Canadian stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Sears Holdings chairman Eddie Lampert is reportedly considering selling the company’s Sears Canada stores. According to the New York Post, Lampert has been quietly consulting banks including Goldman Sachs and reaching out to prospective buyers.

Sears Canada recently issued its shareholders a $483 million dividend despite reporting a $46.3 million net loss, using $380 million it received by closing its flagship Toronto store and four other locations. Company executives and suppliers are reportedly concerned that the money went to a dividend rather than get reinvested in the business.

The New York Post quotes unidentified sources as saying Hudson’s Bay is not interested in purchasing Sears Canada, although Wal-Mart and/or Target may want to purchase some stores if there is a liquidation. Neither Sears Canada nor Goldman Sachs commented.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Deloitte: More than half of consumers will shop Black Friday

BY Marianne Wilson

New York – More than half of consumers plan to shop on Black Friday this year, although the number has decreased since last year. According to the Deloitte Pre-Thanksgiving Survey, 53% of 1,000 consumers polled will shop on Black Friday, compared to 63% in 2012.

Younger consumers are more likely to shop Black Friday, with 68% of weekend shoppers age 18-29 planning to shop that day and 44% of Black Friday shoppers in this age group planning to hit the stores between midnight and 5 a.m., compared to 30% of those 30 and older.

However, only 13% of consumers plan to shop in stores on Thanksgiving Day, down from 23% last year. Shoppers expect to spend an average of $286 during the holiday weekend. Other findings include:

  • 48% plan to shop online, and 48% plan to shop in-store (catalog accounts for 4%).
  • 19% plan to shop online on Thanksgiving Day – six percentage points higher than in the stores.
  • 44% plan to shop online on Black Friday.
  • 47% plan to shop online on Cyber Monday.
  • 80% of consumers say their spending has not been negatively impacted by last month’s government shutdown.
  • 63% say the U.S. economy is recovering (up from 48% at this time last year).
  • On average, shoppers surveyed have completed only 18% of their gift shopping to date.
  • Nearly half (47%) haven’t done any of their holiday gift shopping.
  • 23% say they’ll take advantage of early Black Friday deals online.
  • 48% say retailers offer comparable deals online and in-stores during the Thanksgiving weekend.
  • 59% plan to avoid shopping in the stores to avoid crowds – up from 49% in 2012
  • 40% say they don’t rely on Black Friday or Cyber Monday as much as they used to for holiday shopping.
  • 35% of consumers surveyed plan to research online before shopping in stores over the Black Friday weekend.
  • 26% of shoppers will check out products in the store before shopping over the holiday weekend.
  • More than half (52%) of consumers are expected to spend up to two hours researching Black Friday deals.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

One-in-four Black Friday shoppers plan Thanksgiving start

BY Dan Berthiaume

Los Angeles — Black Friday shoppers are looking to extend the Black Friday experience as much as possible. According to new survey results from PriceGrabber, 24% of Black Friday shoppers plan to start shopping on the evening of Thanksgiving. When asked if they plan to take advantage of extended hours during the weekend, 57% said they plan to do so.

Further survey results reveal the significance of the holiday shopping weekend to consumers. When asked about the importance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, 29% indicated they find the shopping weekend very important, citing that they spend time to research deals in advance and definitely plan on purchasing gifts. The type of discounts and products matter to 53% of consumers who said that the shopping weekend was somewhat important to them, citing they will shop if they find products and discounts they desire.

Some consumers feel indifferent about the shopping weekend, with 18% who said that shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday isn’t a priority for them.

Other results include:

  • 43% said retailers will offer their best Thanksgiving weekend prices on Cyber Monday, up from 41% a year earlier.
  • When asked why they plan to shop online on Cyber Monday, 66% said they want to take advantage of one-day deals, discounts and free shipping offers.
  • The workplace will not be the most popular location to conduct Cyber Monday shopping in 2013, with 83% who indicated they will shop from home.
  • 41% of Cyber Monday shoppers said they will shop early in the morning; 20 percent said late morning; and 17% said they will shop in the afternoon, while the remaining respondents said they will shop in the evening.
  • About half of consumers will use their smartphone on Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend to shop and look for deals. When asked how they plan to use their mobile phone to shop, 50% plan to showroom, comparing prices on products while in stores.
  • 40% of respondents said they will review Black Friday sales online before heading into the stores to shop; 36% will check email alerts and push notifications from their favorite retailers; 30% will do some shopping via their mobile device on Cyber Monday; and 22% plan to take photos of products and share them with family and friends.

“As families gather for Thanksgiving, we expect to see mobile traffic increase as consumers start to look for Black Friday deals,” said Jeff Goldstein, president of PriceGrabber. “With less shopping days this year, we expect a stronger Cyber Week as Black Friday shoppers will go online to look for additional deals as early as Thanksgiving eve.”


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