Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 11/26/12

What’s happening today:  Shoppers showed up in force both in-store and online this Holiday Weekend; Cyber Monday is upon us and a reminder of Amazon’s online retail strength.

Thanksgiving Day Promotions Win Over Millions of Holiday Shoppers, According to National Retail Federation.  Highlights of report:  

According to the survey, a record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 226 million last year.

The average person spent $172.42 online over the weekend, or approximately 40.7 percent of their total weekend spending, up from 37.8 percent last year.

Lured by deep discounts and practical spending habits, eight in 10 (79.6%) shoppers took advantage of retailers’ weekend promotions to buy non-gift items.

The average holiday shopper spent $423 this weekend, up from $398 last year. Total spending reached an estimated $59.1 billion.

More people than ever before also shopped online and in stores on Black Friday, as 89 million shoppers braved the crowds, up from 86 million last year.

More than 35 million Americans visited retailers’ stores and websites Thursday – up from 29 million last year.

28.0 percent of weekend shoppers were at the stores by midnight on Black Friday, compared to 24.4 percent last year.


“U.S. holiday shoppers buy early, often, online” from Reuters.  “The more successful retailers, analysts said, were companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Macy’s Inc which did better at combining physical stores with their online and mobile channels into a seamless shopping experience.  “The more you can make a shopper shop multiple channels, they are at least twice as likely to be a loyal shopper and spend tons of money,” Patty Edwards, chief investment officer at investment firm Trutina Financial, said.”  https://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/26/uk-usa-retail-idUSLNE8AM00R20121126

…and now onto “Cyber Monday”…

“Cyber Monday likely to be busiest online sales day” by Mae Anderson at the Associated Press.  “It’s estimated that this year’s Cyber Monday will be the biggest online shopping day of the year for the third year in a row: According to research firm comScore, Americans are expected to spend $1.5 billion, up 20 percent from last year on Cyber Monday, as retailers have ramped up their deals to get shoppers to click on their websites.”  https://www.ajc.com/news/ap/top-news/cyber-monday-likely-to-be-busiest-online-sales-day/nTFNL/

“Google Shopping Becomes More Amazon-Like” by Caire Cain Miller in Bits.  “Last week, it introduced wish lists for saving items and sharing them with friends, 360-degree photographs of items, retailer promotions and product reviews.  These updates came after Google made a big change this fall, for the first time including retailers in Google Shopping only if they pay to list their products there. Google said this would make the listings better, because retailers would have an incentive to list up-to-date items.”  https://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/23/google-steps-up-competition-with-amazon-in-shopping/

“A Reminder of Amazon’s Retail Strength” at 24/7 Wall St.  “Its lead over the next few retail sites is so large that it is impossible to imagine that Amazon will ever give up its position. Amazon has crushed the bricks-and-mortar world and continues to do so.  For October, unique visits to Amazon sites came to 108.7 million. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. sites were a distant second at 40.7 million. Target Corp. was at the bottom of the list of 50 with 26 million hits, which means no other retailer made the list.”  https://247wallst.com/2012/11/23/a-reminder-of-amazons-retail-strength/

Walmart.com CEO: We Embrace Showrooming” by Marcus Wohlsen in Wired.  ““You’ve got to go where the customer wants you to go. We live in the age of the customer,” Walmart.com President and CEO Joel Anderson told Wired in an interview this week. “We’re embracing showrooming.”  https://www.wired.com/business/2012/11/walmart-embraces-showrooming

“Wal-Mart India suspends CFO and legal team in corruption probe” by Veena Venugopal in Quartz.  “India is ranked 95th out of 175 countries in the corruption perception index, and it is widely held that running a business without bribing government officials is nearly impossible here.”   https://qz.com/30440/wal-mart-india-suspends-cfo-and-legal-team-in-corruption-probe/

“Come fly with Menards:  Retailer seeks 50 workers to commute weekly to Minot, N.D. store” by Eric Lindquist in the Leader-Telegram.  “So when officials from Menard Inc. observed a severe labor shortage in Minot, N.D., and a plentiful supply of workers in Eau Claire, it was only logical for them to decide to fly workers from their headquarters city in Wisconsin to the community on the edge of North Dakota’s booming oil patch….The workers will be getting an immersion experience in a part of the country that has been equated with the Wild West because of the rapid growth, high wages and supply shortages associated with the boom in the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, industry.”  https://www.leadertelegram.com/news/front_page/article_72685882-36c6-11e2-a8af-0019bb2963f4.html 

“Sears President: We’re Making Improvements in Customer Experience” on Fox Business (Video).  Sears President Ronald Boire on the outlook for holiday sales and efforts to turn the store around.  https://video.foxbusiness.com/v/1986831091001/sears-president-were-making-improvements-in-customer-experience