Posted by Dale Buss on December 4, 2013 03:58 PM
Maybe November wasn't such a turkey after all—for JCPenney, at least. The still-beleaguered retailer reported a 10 percent increase in comparable-store sales for the month, thanks to a strong Black Friday and, presumably, the conclusion by American consumers that the brand isn't dead just yet.
While most retailers have bemoaned the overall results of Thanksgiving weekend and aren't sure their promotional aggressiveness will serve them much better this month, JCPenney reported that its online sales were strong. Notably, it was the second consecutive month for which the retailer reported comparable-store sales, according to TheStreet.com, after dropping monthly reports two years ago.
And JCPenney CEO Myron Ullman took a minute to crow, sort of. "We are pleased with our performance over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, particularly in light of the continued spending pressures on consumers," he said in a press release. "The combination of our great merchandise and compelling promotions put us in a position to succeed in a highly competitive environment, and our teams executed very well."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 3, 2013 06:39 PM
The biggest shopping day of the year—Black Friday—has birthed a handful of shopping spinoffs, including a less than welcome Grey Thursday, Small Business Saturday, and the wildly successful Cyber Monday—and now in its second year—Giving Tuesday.
Started last year as an antidote to the holiday weekend's retail madness by New York's 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, #GivingTuesday has now gone global with organizations in Australia, Canada, Mexico and Singapore participating. More than 8,000 organizations have signed up to participate from all 50 US states—a marked increase from last year’s inaugural event that attracted over 2,500 organizations.
Some efforts from major brands include:Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 3, 2013 03:53 PM
Cyber Monday sales set a new one-day record for online shopping yesterday with an increase of 20 percent over 2012, while mobile sales increased 55 perent year-over-year and now account for more than 17 percent of total online sales for Cyber Monday.
Walmart, Amazon and eBay were the day's big winners, as Walmart.com quickly sold out of its entire stock of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, with CEO Joel Anderson proclaiming, "There's no way ... that it won't finish as our biggest Cyber Monday ever," according to USA Today. "I think 2013 will be remembered as the year online went mobile."
Amazon offered half-off Mattel and Fisher-Price products, 46 percent off a Canon digital camera and 65 percent off men and women’s cashmere, while eBay promoted more than 80 percent off diamond stud earrings.
Most consumers accessed the deals via tablets, while mobile phones were used most for browsing. Tablets accounted for 12 percent of purchases versus 5.5 percent from smartphones.Continue reading...
games people play
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 2, 2013 06:39 PM
Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 were both released in the weeks before Black Friday in the hopes of generating some early holiday sales. But whatever happened ahead of the biggest shopping weekend of the year is now forgotten, as Microsoft's Xbox systems have emerged as the clear winner in console sales.
According to Escapist Magazine, Xbox One and Xbox 360 accounted for 61 percent of all gaming consoles sold on Black Friday. So where was Sony? The company’s PS3 and PS4 systems were responsible for 30 percent of the sales, but the consoles were also apparently understocked, according to analyst Jon Brelig. "Microsoft's success can be largely attributed to limited availability of the PS4, in addition to Walmart discounting the Xbox 360 down to $99 for Black Friday," he said.
The Black Friday victory may be sweet for Microsoft, but that doesn’t mean the company gets a free PR pass. Microsoft, which has had a few marketing hiccups lately, had to apologize to the gaming public for a marketing coup that many felt was sexist.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 2, 2013 04:52 PM
It’s tricky to find consensus on the success of this weekend’s spending, but one thing is a fact—Black Friday marked the first billion-dollar-plus day of this year’s holiday shopping season.
Accorind to comScore, consumers spent $1.2 billion online, with sales up 18.9 percent this year from last as retailers pushed their open hours from Friday to Thanksgiving day.
"Consumers appear to have responded to retailers' strong push to get them in the stores and online early this year," Shawn DuBravac, CEA chief economist and senior director of research, told USA Today. "The dust is still settling, but early indications point to a weekend of record-breaking online sales and a healthy appetite for key tech products."
ShopperTrak reports that sales were off 13.2 percent on Black Friday, but with more stores open earlier on Thanksgiving this year, and for longer hours, the combined sales of Thursday and Friday were actually up 2.3 percent over the same two days last year. Still, a more somber take from the National Retail Federation puts the weekend spend at about $1.7 billion less than in 2012. “There are some economic challenges that many Americans still face,” Matthew Shay, CEO, NRF, told the New York Times. “So in general terms, many are intending to be a little bit more conservative with their budgets.”Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 29, 2013 03:03 PM
With seven million fewer people than last year expected to shop this holiday weekend, Black Friday promised to offer even greater, more desperate discounts and the subsequent sad, human spectacle those discounts guarantee. A tragic situation for retailers; a feast for the unsympathetic, bloodthirsty spectators of Rome America.
Still, the mad rush so far seems to have been worth it. Early reports are indicating solid consumer turnouts for Thanksgiving day/night sales, while e-commerce is already up 7 percent this year compared to last, according to IBM's Benchmark data. Mobile has appeared to be a strong player this year, accounting for 37 percent of all online shopping traffic and nearly 22 percent of sales as of noon, eastern-time, today.
With sales starting as early as the afternoon of Thanksgiving itself, shoppers and spectators alike still well lubricated with wine, those looking for the melees of Black Friday found it early this year. Walmart seemed to be the epicenter of the chaos but other stores got mentions as well. So here's a Twitter round-up of some of the more notable incidents, plus one development that proves it isn't only Black Friday that's moving to Thursday.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 29, 2013 12:18 PM
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: Starbucks and Christmas time come (again) to China… Ford outpacing GM… KFC breaks up… Nissan turns to heartthrobs… Ferrari owner age… Twitter's Asia strategy… Hugo Boss woes… so long, cognac… how China does "door busters"... and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2013 07:02 PM
Thanksgiving is a time to share with loved ones, express gratitude, and take stock of the ad frenzy that is holiday shopping. And with brands turning the clock forward on Black Friday promos, marketing teams are in an all-out race to grab the attention of savings-hungry consumers.
According to research from Shareablee, of the top 25 retailers on Facebook in the first half of November, Walmart accounted for 27 percent of the total shares by fans, followed by QVC with 9 percent, and Macy’s and Nordstrom at 8 percent. On Twitter, BestBuy is dominant with 30 percent of retweets in the category, followed by Nordstrom at 9 percent, Ebay and Target at 8 percent respectively and Walmart at 6 percent.
Target has outpaced all retail competition with six times more Black Friday posts than any other brand, while JCPenney’s one Black Friday post earned the highest level of engagement with over 54,000 likes, comments and shares.
Are you planning on braving the crowds? If so, here's some offers to keep an eye out for:Continue reading...