By now you’ve all read about Black Friday and the results. In an article in the New York Times, sales were up 2% from a year ago according to Shoppertrak and is right around the 2.2% the National Retail Federation predicted for the holiday period.
But don’t go celebrating just yet. This doesn’t come as a surprise given that there are five less days to the holiday season this year because Thanksgiving was so late in 2008.
Sales of electronics, which I personally believed would buoy holiday shopping fell 14% vs. prior year. And overall foot traffic was down 18% at malls and stand alone stores — that means 1 of every 5 shoppers who shopped last year stayed home.
Sales on Saturday dropped nearly 1% according to the article and final numbers for November will be out later this week.
As for Cyber Monday, the deals were out there, and a multitude of shopping bots and other websites helped online shoppers find the best prices. According to the UPI, online sales fell 4% in November, which caused 84% of online retailers to offer deals for Cyber Monday.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
All bets are off this holiday season.
There is no rhyme or reason to what consumers expect so retailers are throwing everything and the kitchen sink to try to lure shoppers both in store and online to boost sales.
Most articles are reporting that Cyber Monday will be fairly soft given that consumers are waiting for bigger deals. And I had a hard time finding the sales results for Cyber Monday online.
In an article in Yahoo Business, analysts stated that Cyber Monday isn’t the biggest shopping day of the year online. That honor is reserved for about the 15th of month, as customers want to make sure their gifts make it to their destination in time for Christmas.
Keep ahead of the curve and make sure you’re aware of what’s happening locally and globally. Chances are, your customers are the same as everyone out there. And that means they’re going to keep their wallets in their pockets and play a game of chicken with you, waiting for you to drop prices before they’re willing to spend, or go to another store that has dropped their prices.