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Study: Consumers resetting, not recovering

BY CSA STAFF

Port Washington, N.Y. A study released Wednesday by market research firm NPD Group found that consumers are focused not as much on recovering from the economy as they are “resetting.”

“Overall, consumers have reached this new equilibrium of spending and making decisions about things like groceries and apparel and electronics and automotive,” Dee Warmath, senior VP/Retail Insights for NPD, told Marketing Daily. “The pie has shrunk, so each category is competing with another. So while there is a roving release of pent-up demand, there’s not an overall increase in spending.”

NPD interviewed about 71,000 consumers across eight categories, reviewing approximately 60 retailers and 75 brands per category in the Retail & Brand Landscape Report, which ranks each in terms of shopper engagement, shopper priorities and shopper impressions.

The report found that the recession has sharpened consumer focus on value. The results registered plenty of instances of people trading down, especially in terms of store channels, but most changes were temporary.

“There were segments of consumers who were very worried about cash flow and were willing to give up things that mattered to them, and so they shifted down to a certain category of store. But when there wasn’t another shoe dropping, they went back to their old patterns — a more balanced value equation,” Warmath said.

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Target offering ‘Black Friday’ deals in the summer

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Target has become the latest retailer to offer “holiday season” deals in the summer. The company announced that it will offer its first-ever “Back in Black Friday” sale on Target.com on July 23. The exclusive online-only sale will begin at approximately 12:00 a.m. (PDT) and conclude at 11:59 p.m. (PDT) on Target.com/BlackFriday.

“At Target.com, we are committed to offering our guests tremendous value every day.  With our first-ever Back in Black Friday, guests will find incredible bargains before the holiday season with the added convenience of online shopping,” said Steve Eastman, president Target.com.

According to the company, the online-only sale will offer an average of a 40% off regular prices on must-have items across all categories, including apparel, electronics, toys, housewares, movies, music, books and more. 

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TJX to bring Marshalls to Canada

BY CSA STAFF

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. TJX Companies announced plans to bring Marshalls to Canada. The company anticipates that the first Canadian Marshalls stores will open in the spring of 2011. Marshalls will become TJX Canada’s fourth off-price retail division, along with its other banners Winners, HomeSense and STYLESENSE.

Carol Meyrowitz, president and CEO of The TJX Companies, stated, “I am delighted to announce that we are bringing our Marshalls chain to TJX Canada, where we have our highest financial returns, with the planned opening of six stores in 2011. Canada has been a very successful market for TJX since we first entered in 1990, and we are excited to continue growing our Canadian business. We believe Marshalls will offer Canadians yet another avenue to great brands, great fashions and excellent values for the entire family. This is another example of our emphasis on international expansion, and we believe that Marshalls will be extremely well received in Canada. Ultimately, we estimate the Canadian market can support 90 to 100 stores.”

Marshalls in Canada will be managed by TJX Canada, the operating group managing Winners, acquired in 1990, HomeSense, launched in 2001, and STYLESENSE, launched in 2008. Operations, distribution and management will be leveraged from the existing organization. The company said it is not yet ready to announce specific locations for the initial stores.

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