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Survey: Meaning, not price, drives gift purchases

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boston – A vast majority of shoppers say meaning is the most important factor in choosing a holiday gift to purchase. According to a new survey from online marketplace CustomMade, more than 90% of buyers surveyed said that the most important factor in choosing a gift this holiday season was its meaning to the recipient, while only 18% of respondents found an item’s low price to be highly important to their purchase decision.

In addition, the two most popular retail destinations for holiday shopping this year will be at local stores/independent retailers (32.7%) or online (39.5%), not at a mall or big box retailer (14%). Long lines (28% of respondents find them to be the worst part of holiday shopping) and anonymous merchandise (22% dislike finding the same items everywhere they shop) are the two main factors in the low popularity of malls.

And handmade, crafted goods from small businesses are of particular focus this year, as 40% of respondents said that their favorite type of gift to give was something created especially for the recipient, while 30% love giving something handmade. Additionally, 46.9% of respondents said that supporting small businesses and/or independent artisans was highly important in where they decided to shop.

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Thanksgiving sales have low social media promotion

BY Dan Berthiaume

Raleigh, N.C. – Thanksgiving holiday sales are not getting much social promotion this year from retailers. According to an analysis of 494 brand posts from eight retailers by social software company Expion, only 10 focused on Thanksgiving holiday sales (Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday), or just 2% of all brand posts, and only five of the eight retailers posted about holiday sales.

Expion analyzed posts from Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Sears, Staples, Target and Toys R Us between Oct.15 and Nov. 15. Target had the most Thanksgiving sales-related posts, and they generated average engagement rates. Penney, on the other hand, only had one post, but it was the top “sale” post and the third most successful post overall. The post drove users to Pinterest to engage with #BlackFriday deals.

Expion analysis shows that Penney’s cross-platform strategy proved successful, indicating that Pinterest is a key social platform for retail shoppers, and the real-life “wish list” drove engagement. And despite an increase in the number of retailers open on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday promotions were the only sales posted about on Facebook during the monitored time period.

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Jos. A. Bank offers ‘Super Tuesday’ holiday promotion

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hampstead, Md. – Jos. A. Bank is attempting to get a jump on the many retailers starting their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving by offering a “Super Tuesday” sale event on Tuesday, Nov. 26. The retailer will offer Black Friday prices on select “doorbuster” items in its 571 company-owned full-line stores nationwide.

In addition, these select doorbuster items will be offered online at Josbank.com beginning at 12:01 a.m. (EST) on November 26, 2013, and there will be other special one-day price discounts.

“In addition to our traditional Black Friday doorbusters event, this year we are pleased to offer an earlier exclusive doorbusters event on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving," said R. Neal Black, president and CEO of JoS. A. Bank Clothiers. "We feel that this event will provide our customers with more flexibility in their holiday shopping which is always one of our objectives, especially with the shorter number of shopping days this year.”

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