A View into Your Holiday Morning


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Regardless of the Black Friday hype, the holiday shopping season still has a long way to go. After all, the Saturday before Christmas is often the busiest shopping day of the year.

Still, retailers are off to a decent start – at least by some measures. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, sales during Thanksgiving week rose 0.5 percent. That is a fairly colorless figure, but sales at stores open at least a year advanced 3.5 percent compared with the same week in 2009, indicating that perhaps there were more stores operating in 2009 then in 2010. Still, the important message is that sales within existing stores are rising at a relatively decent clip.

People certainly were out and about, if not spending. The National Retail Federation estimates 212 million shoppers hit the stores, both on the street and online, over Thanksgiving weekend. According to a recent joint survey by LoyaltyOne and Epsilon Targeting, 46 percent of consumers plan to spend the same as they did in 2009, and 6.6 percent expect to spend more. The good news for retailers is that 41 percent of the same survey respondents said they do not always stick to their budget.

There may be something to that. Terry Lundgren, CEO of Cincinnati-based Macy’s, told CNBC on Nov. 26 that sales at the department store chain are up between 4 percent and 5 percent over last year. He projects fourth-quarter sales to be up by 3 percent to 4 percent. (Lundgren, a media-savvy and tolerant CEO, also appeared on “The View” that day.)

If Lundgren’s projections are right, then the retail segment – as well as credit card companies and loyalty marketers – should prepare to finally exhale. The NRF reports that annual holiday sales rose by an average of just 2.45 percent since 2000, and those sales represented about 19 percent of annual receipts.

Lisa Biank Fasig
Lisa leads the creation of editorials and feature stories for COLLOQUY and oversees the work of contributing editors and writers. With 18 years of reporting experience, most in business and specifically consumer behavior, she is highly skilled at researching data and teasing out the trends. A background in graphic design enables her to see ideas in three dimensions and tell the story visually.


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