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 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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