Chasing the Customer … Not the Competition _ Update 3

Were retail openings on Thanksgiving day a good idea or simply a shift in cadence – the days and times customers actually hit the stores? Are the lackluster numbers simply customer economic malaise  – better luck next year? But  is there also a fundamental shift going on as to how customers buy the products they want? All the more reason to click  http://wp.me/p3lbtW-l and read the back story to this apparent tectonic shift. Both retailers and brands need to be alert:                The Times, They Are A-Changin”

Look at the numbers for the 4 day Thanksgiving selling period:

  • Combined sales on Thursday and Friday (2 days) rose 2.3% from a year earlier. [Remember, most stores were not open Thanksgiving last year.] ShopperTrak
  • Online sales increased 19.7% on Thanksgiving day 2013 vs. 2012. IBM Benchmark report
  • Retail store traffic increased to 92 million vs. 89 million the previous Thanksgiving day.  An increase of around 3.4%. NRF
  • Black Friday Shopper traffic fell 11.4% and retail sales decreased 13.2% in 2013 vs. 2012.  ShopperTrak
  • And … total spending from Thursday through Sunday (4 days) fell 3%. Average shopper spending dropped 4%. National Retail Federation
  • More consumers did bypass stores altogether. Online shopping accounted for 42% of sales for the four-day period. That’s up from 40% last year  and 26% in 2006. NRF

Maybe Nordstrom and Costco were the smart ones. They did not open on Thanksgiving day so they did not incur the payroll time-and-a-half labor charge and the expense of  store operations. Interesting to see how their 4 days went.

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