Survey results point to significant additional shopping before the season ends
Charleston, S.C. — Despite some early negative reaction to stores opening on Thanksgiving, shoppers ultimately embraced the idea of an extended “Black Friday” and came out for a full weekend of spending, according to the Christmas & Holiday Shopping Forecast released by America’s Research Group and Inmar. Survey results show almost three-quarters of shoppers spent part of at least one day of the weekend in stores.
Friday saw the most shopper traffic with more than 25% of shoppers making it their primary day for deal hunting but better than 30% of those polled finished their Thanksgiving meal and went in search of deals on Thursday night. And, the promised deals were in stock on both days.
Among the shoppers surveyed, more than 86% reported that they were able to find the advertised specials they were seeking. When they found the deals, shoppers took advantage — with almost 46% saying they spent more than planned because the deals were “too good to pass up.”
Pre-trip planning by those surveyed included 78% having looked at inserts in the Thanksgiving Day newspaper — with 93% of these shoppers finding the inserts helpful. Of those who viewed inserts, 58% took them to the store.
In addition to having sufficient stock on hand, retailers made sure stores were properly staffed and shoppers noticed. More than 64% of survey respondents found that there was adequate sales help on hand while 84% said there was enough help present to make the shopping experience pleasant.
"This year’s Black Friday proved a success for both retailers and shoppers,” says John Ross, president Inmar Analytics and EVP, Inmar. “Retailers, employing strategic promotion – both in print and online – drew shoppers to the store where they found the shelves stocked, deep discounts readily available and adequate staff on hand. Shoppers responded by opening their wallets, taking advantage of advertised offers and energizing a holiday shopping season that is far from over."
Survey results point to significant additional shopping before the season ends. More than half of shoppers (56%) report being less than halfway finished with their shopping this holiday season. In looking to complete their holiday shopping, 73% are planning on another three to 13 days in stores.
If shoppers continue to spend at their current rate on these unfinished lists, it could mean a very full stocking for retailers. Of those able to recall how much they spent on Thursday and Friday, almost 76% have already spent between $250 and $2,500. Thinking about how much they spent over the weekend, 56% of surveyed shoppers said they spent within that same range on Saturday and Sunday.
“Consumers spent more this past weekend than they had planned, largely due to deals beings too good to pass up," said Britt Beemer, chairman and CEO of America’s Research Group. “In general, consumers are feeling better overall about spending more.”
Target testing Pinterest section on its website
New York — Target is testing a section of its website that features products popular on Pinterest.
The Target Awesome Shop includes products from several lines, including beauty, each of which is among those most-pinned on Pinterest in the last few days. The products are mentioned only if they have at least a four-star guest review.
The website is currently in beta testing and was put together "in a matter of a few weeks" by Target’s Rapid Accelerated Development team, a small group of digital experts working for the company.
First Data: Retail dollar volume growth up 9% over Thanksgiving/Black Friday
Atlanta — Year-over-year retail dollar volume growth during Thanksgiving and Black Friday was strong at 9.0%, and a significant increase compared to last year’s growth of 5.6%, according to First Data Corp.’s SpendTrend analysis, which tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.
Most of the 9.0% retail spending growth was driven by shopping on Thanksgiving as opposed to Black Friday; with 3.4% growth on Black Friday. Retail average ticket growth was healthy and strong at 3.8% versus last year’s growth of 1.9%, according to the report, as consumers opened their wallets and spent more per visit while also focusing on bigger-ticket items.
Overall transaction growth was 4.9% during the two-day period, and most of that growth again was driven by shopper foot-traffic on Thanksgiving; with Black Friday transaction growth at 2.2%. Similar to trends seen during rest of the year, shopping on credit cards experienced strong growth at 8.8%.
“In addition to promotions and early openings, we saw many retailers make it even easier for consumers to shop by providing a seamless integration of in-store, online and mobile initiatives that allowed shoppers to buy products wherever and whenever,” said Krish Mantripragada, senior VP, information and analytics solutions, First Data. “While the start of the holiday spending season was robust, merchants will continue to monitor shoppers to see if they can sustain the spending growth through the holiday season.”