“From green beans to great deals, millions of Americans found time this Thanksgiving to make the most of retailers’ promotions and enjoy a special family holiday”, this is how Mathew Shay president National retail Foundation (NRF) describes the Thanksgiving shopping spree over the last weekend.
US retailers who banked almost $59.1 billion in revenues over the Black Friday holiday last week are now extending efforts to sustain the 13% climb in sales throughout December. Many , including Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE:KSS), are already in the midst of launching online deals to covert in store visits into click sales.
Bloomberg industry Analyst Poonam Goyal described Thanksgiving as “no longer a one day event”. On behalf of NRF, The BIGinsight research surveyed 4,005 consumers this weekend. Results reveal that almost 89 million consumers made purchases during the four day long Thanksgiving holiday that ended yesterday. A total of 35 million shoppers visited stores on the Black Friday alone which is 17% higher than 29 million visitors last year.
A major factor behind the sales hike is the early bird promotions by the retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT). These exclusive discounts attracted 28% of the weekend shoppers at night ahead of the weekend .Shift of retailer’s sales efforts from store front to online also caused an online sales increase at 23% , almost double the rate for the 23 days preceding the holiday.
The progress was encouraging but the 13% rise in average per head expenditure of $423, signaled warning signs Thanksgiving sales were heaved ahead of time and this may be followed by a quiet period in coming December. Hinting at the feared lull yesterday Mathew Shay , president NRF said “To keep their customers excited about holiday shopping, retailers will continue to offer attractive promotions through December”.
Planalytics a Pennsylvania based firm released an email estimate that demand for casual wear for winter including sweaters, boots and scarves will increase after a colder Thanksgiving this year which can help retailers sustain their margins. A remarkable 57.7% of total visitors bought gift clothing items while only 29% grabbed casual clothing discounts. The sales data for Black Friday show that non-gift items were sold in larger proportions. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has discounted kitchen items and other household products to make more sales.
Awaiting a congressional agreement on tax reforms and budget cuts, few consumers might cut their spending marginally. However optimists outnumber the skeptics who believe they will be worse off the incoming year. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index reports that more consumers were wary to spend last year.
More consumers will spend extra as the household and job markets retreat according to a survey conducted by Credit Union National Association and Consumer Federation of America in which 15% of respondents said yes to be saving less.
Retailers like J C Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), and many others have collaborated in the web event cybermonday.com to make most of the sales online potential. Many others propound their online deal launches to gain from the Cyber Monday frenzy while consumers are still in high spirits.
The shares of J C Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) fell by 0.35% to close at $17.23, shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) fell by 0.41% to close at $69.91, and shares of Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE:KSS) fell by 0.65% to close at $51.91.