Archive for November, 2014

For many people, going shopping isn’t just about looking for deals and trying to match gifts to a list—shopping is also an experience. The basic shopping data in a survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) is a lot like what we’ve seen lately in other holiday shopping surveys: Younger consumers are the most likely to shop in physical stores Thanksgiving Thursday through Cyber Monday, with 25-34 year-olds most likely to shop in a store on Thanksgiving (32%) and Millennials (18-24 year-olds) most likely to shop in stores on Black Friday (63%); in all 41% of consumers plan to head to the stores on Black Friday, 18% of consumers plan to shop in a physical store on Thanksgiving, and 32% of consumers will hit the stores on the following Saturday and/or Sunday.
As you’d expect the number one reason cited by folks planning to shop in a store on Thanksgiving Day is to get a head-start on bargains—51% of those planning to shop on Thursday. However, deals and promotions aren’t the only reason for a Thanksgiving shopping trip—45% of those consumers said it is an opportunity for a fun outing with family and friends. Many shopping center visitors on Thanksgiving Day plan to engage in a special activity—such as a philanthropic effort like a food or clothing drive, an activity such as a movie or ice skating, attending a holiday event such as a tree lighting or concert, getting a picture with Santa or going out to eat. On Thanksgiving Day, 62% of shoppers will also engage in a non-shopping activity, compared to 52% on Saturday or Sunday and just 45% on Black Friday itself. Many of those things don’t have an online equivalent, so the experience requires brick-and-mortar facilities.
The ICSC survey also found that the Monday following the holiday weekend, known in recent years as Cyber Monday, is not just for online shopping. More than one-third (36%) of consumers plan to go to a physical store that day. The shopping center trade group says that highlights the need for physical store presence and the omni-channel experience.


Author: admin

Your local automotive dealer clients have much to be thankful for this November—Automotive News reports for the first time ever, consumers are on pace to spend over $400 billion buying new vehicles this year. That’s almost an 80% improvement over what was spent just five years ago when the recession hit. A J.D. Power exec said, “There’s good news on volume (and) exceptionally good news on transaction prices”……The CEO of auto supplier Harman International told analysts Harman has a $900 million contract with General Motors to produce an Android-based next-generation infotainment system that would be ready by 2016……Domestic McDonald’s October same-store sales were down again, but not nearly as badly as some analysts had expected. Comps slipped 1%, but that was a significant improvement over September’s 4.1% decline that had been the worst number in more than a decade……Pizza Hut will launch a new menu nationwide next week, including ten new crusts and a lower-calorie “skinny” version that has done well in tests. The Yum Brands division has been losing share in its category, with negative same store sales while competitors like Papa John’s and Domino’s have had mid-single digit increases……El Pollo Loco profit rose 12.7% in the third quarter with a 6.4% same-store sales increase at company-owned stores and an even better 9.1% uptick at franchised units……We’ll be getting quarterly results from most major retailers later this week, but Gap Inc. was first to report and says same-store sales were down 5% at Gap stores, flat at Banana Republic, and up 1% at Old Navy. For October alone, comps were down 7%, down 2%, and up 2% respectively for the three banners……Whole Foods, which reported encouraging sales numbers last week, plans to open 38-42 stores in the current fiscal year, and expects to grow its current 401-store roster to over 500 within three years……Sprouts had a great third fiscal quarter, with comp store sales up 9% and total sales up 21% due to having opened more units in the past year. 14 new stores opened during the quarter, bringing the chain up to 191 locations in 10 states……Humana quarterly profit was down despite the addition of 1.8 million new customers so far this year. The company projects that relatively flat premiums will help it attract yet more new customers next year, and profit should be helped by a new government ratings system that should improve its Medicare business……The NPD Group says sales of 4K and Ultra HD TVs have reached $668 million so far this year, about nine times more than a year ago. More than 70% of 4K/UHD sets being sold are at least 55 inches with an average selling price around $2,400.


50% of Americans oppose stores opening all day on Thanksgiving Day, saying it detracts from the traditional celebration, according to new research by LoyaltyOne, a customer loyalty program company. However, 33% say having stores open all day on Thanksgiving is a great idea that provides more time for holiday gift shopping. 17% can’t make up their mind.

It is older consumers, however, who tend to object to Thanksgiving shopping. Only 16% of people 55-plus who were surveyed said staying open all day on Thanksgiving is a great idea. But in the all-important Millennial demographic (ages 18-34), attitudes about stores being open all day on Thanksgiving shift dramatically compared to the general population (ages 18 and older). No less than 50% of consumers age 18-24 say all-day shopping on Thanksgiving is a great idea. That support dropped only slightly to 48% in the 25-34 year-old age group. There’s also a gender difference. 37% of men say being open all day on Thanksgiving is a great idea, compared with 29% of women.

There is a definite trend toward opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving Day, rather than waiting until Black Friday. Macy’s, for example, is opening at 6:00 pm this year, moving the start back from 8:00 pm last year and midnight in 2011. J.C. Penney is going for one-upmanship with a 5:00 pm opening this year. Among department stores, Dillard’s and Nordstrom are bucking the trend and will let employees spend all of Thanksgiving with their families.

Adobe and Nielsen have teamed up in a strategic alliance that they say will deliver the industry’s first comprehensive, cross-platform system for measuring online TV, video and other digital content across the Web and apps. Advertisers and content companies will also be able to look at viewership across TV screens and a variety of digital devices.

The collaboration will integrate Nielsen’s digital audience measurement products with Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime (online TV delivery platform). Both companies will jointly market Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings, Powered by Adobe, which is to deliver analytics and “currency grade” content metrics that enable smarter buying and selling decisions. The new partners say customers will have comparable metrics to measure audiences accurately and consistently across every major IP device, including desktops, smartphones, tablets, game consoles and over-the-top boxes.

Media companies and advertisers will be able to use the new Nielsen Digital Content Ratings, Powered by Adobe, starting in 2015. ESPN, IPG Mediabrands, Sony Pictures Television, Starcom MediaVest Group, Turner Broadcasting, Univision Communications and Viacom are onboard for the rollout. Other major content companies, advertisers and agencies are expected to join as well.

Nielsen’s new Digital Content Ratings will be supported by certified Adobe Analytics census data. The aggregated and anonymous data will measure content of all types, including online TV, videos, games, audio and text. The partners say the technology integration is expected to accelerate the adoption of a digital ratings currency. Nielsen’s measurement data will be embedded in Adobe Primetime to give broadcasters and pay-TV service providers the ability to quickly measure audiences and viewing behaviors across a broad set of devices.


Author: admin

Target is promoting free shipping for online holiday shoppers from now through December 20, with the company saying conversion on its digital channels is up 40% this year. Along with the first-ever holiday free-shipping, Target says 65,000 items that can be ordered online are available for in-store pickup—and that 80% of orders are fulfilled within one hour. The retailer’s mobile and tablet apps are re-launching in time for the holidays, including the new Apple Pay in the iPhone app. A new Wish List app is launching October 31 so kids can build their lists and parents can share the list with family and friends. Target’s holiday advertising will launch November 2, including TV, radio out-of-home and catalogs—with the digital media component increased by 50% from last year……It’s easy to see why Warren Buffett wants to get into the auto retailing business. Along with yesterday’s report of strong growth at Sonic Automotive, another publicly traded dealer group has reported big gains in Q3. Total revenues were up 8% to $1.5 billion for Asbury Automotive Group, with new vehicle and used vehicle revenues each up 8%, finance and insurance revenues also up 8%, and parts and service gross profit up 12%……Alco Stores, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month, may be liquidated unless management finds a buyer by mid-November who wants to keep the discount store chain operating. The bankruptcy judge has selected liquidation specialist Great American Group as a “stalking horse” bidder for the company, which operates 198 general merchandise discount stores in 23 states……Rent-A-Center grew Q3 revenues by 2% to $769.5 million, but not from its core U.S. stores bearing the RAC name. Same store sales there were down 3.6%, although management says adding smartphones improved business. The quarter’s sales gains came from increases of 25.7% and 25.9% in the Acceptance Now and Mexico segments, respectively. Acceptance Now operates rent-to-own programs through retail chains, primarily in the furniture and appliance sectors……Chain Store Age reports that Ross Stores opened 20 new Ross Dress for Less and eight new DD’s Discounts stores across 14 different states in September and October.  These new locations are part of the off-price retailer’s plans to add a total of approximately 75 Ross and 20 DD’s Discounts stores during 2014……Revenues for the fiscal quarter ended September 23 rose 2.2% to $62.6 million for Frisch’s Restaurants, Inc.. Same store sales were up 1.8%. All Frisch’s Big Boy Restaurants (95 owned and 26 franchised) are currently located in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.