Thank God It’s Friday November 18, 2011
Retailers used to wait until Black Friday a/k/a the day AFTER Thanksgiving to begin touting the must-have gifts, bargain prices and secret Santa delights. Now they start before Halloween! Retailers will also open their doors on Black Friday earlier than ever before… many at midnight! However, the older I get, the less I grouse about it because current world events are pretty gloomy and holiday spirit can only help investors’ humor!
Seriously, confidence is increasing among investors as well as consumers. As we are wont to remind you, the consumer represents 70% of our US economy so cannot be scoffed. HER behavior can change a lot of biz trends and has already begun to exhibit her influence on the stock market especially where consumer stocks are perking up. Most retailers have already shown us they are not only alive and well but are thriving. It is a fierce battle for the consumer dollar which will be waged in the malls of America, ONLINE and on Main Street where the buy local chant is heightening.
Technology provides new weapons of convenience as shoppers are now armed with iPhones and other SMART gadgets to enhance their primal lust for bargains. They also pre-shop online to nail down the best deals. Retailers will make a play for these tech-savvy shoppers by offering special online-only pricing and the ever-popular free shipping favored by men who opt for a root canal before physically visiting a shopping center during the happiest time of the year! Historically, retailers waited until the Monday after Thanksgiving to post online deals, but with an increasing amount of shopping being done online the deals are now available ON Thanksgiving Day.
Listen to the jingle of these stats: So far this year, an incredible $141 Billion has been spent online which morphs into $200 Billion for the whole year. E-sales are growing at 15% each year. With full-year 2011 retail sales approaching $4 TRILLION, internet sales will be a significant 5% of total sales. Retailers are not dead; they are simply opening branch stores in the cloud. Are you ready for shopping? Go!
By: Jude Bedell