While the economy is still struggling to fully recover,
Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday came as a relief for
the retailers this holiday season. The holiday weekend sales have
helped consumer confidence strongly improve. Amid the economic
gloom, it seems that consumers had saved enough bucks to grab the
best deals available now.
A recent report by Conference Board data suggested that
Consumer Confidence Index rose to 73.7 in November from a revised
73.1 in October, and attained the highest level since February
2008, when the index touched 76.4. This prompts a sense of
optimism about steady increase in consumer spending going
forward; barring the impending "fiscal cliff" making its way in.
The impact of fiscal cliff or $600 billion in tax increases and
spending cuts will take its effect from the beginning of 2013 if
not resolved by Congress.
According to National Retail Federation (NRF), the survey
performed by BIGinsight revealed that as many as 247 million
bargain hunters visited stores and browsed the Internet over the
past weekend compared with 226 million in the prior year. The
average spending per customer rose to $423.6 over the weekend, up
6.3% from $398.6 in the prior-year comparable period. Average
online spending increased 14.5% to $172.4 from $150.5 in the
corresponding period last year.
The data compiled by NRF also suggested that sales on the
Thanksgiving weekend surged 12.8% to $59.1 billion from $52.4
billion in the year-ago period. Notably, sales did rise, but the
rate of growth decelerated from 16.4% growth rate achieved in the
This doesn't mean retailers haven't done their homework.
Instead, they have now gained enough experience to make the best
amid lingering gloomy economic conditions. Early-hours store
openings, huge discounts, promotional activities and free
shipping on online purchases were enough to lure customers on
Black Friday, which turned out to be a bonanza for both
brick-and-mortar as well as e-commerce retailers.
As suggested by comScore, Black Friday witnessed online retail
spending of $1.04 billion that increased 26% from $816 million in
2011, whereas Thanksgiving Day saw a 32% jump in online spending
to $633 million.
) recorded highest online traffic as per comScore on Black Friday
and was followed by
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Best Buy Co. Inc.
However, retail sales on Black Friday, which kicks off the
holiday sales, edged down 1.8% to $11.2 billion, while foot
traffic climbed 3.5%, according to the data released by
ShopperTrak. Analysts believe that Thanksgiving Day attracted
some sales from Black Friday due to the early offerings of best
) reported a 30% sales increase on Cyber Monday. Supposedly, the
sales increase was helped by tech savvy consumers buying best
online deals through their smartphones, tablets and computers.
The data is based on survey done on 500 retailers.
Thus, it seems that the holiday season is shaping up well,
lifting consumer's confidence, benefiting retailers and giving
some momentum to derailed economy. Sensing the pulse, we could
see more competitive pricing and launch of new products to
attract shoppers in the holiday season.
We believe that retail companies will be actively making
efforts to win the hearts of bargain hunters. Interestingly, it
definitely remains a wait-and-see story as to which retailers
emerge successful in wooing maximum consumers in this distressed
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