Early and often may describe Chicago voting, but it looks like consumers are using this same approach with their holiday shopping. With gas prices low, the economy generally good and consumers feeling fine about their future, I expect holiday sales to be up over last year. But I am seeing some Chicago-style voting occurring with consumers shopping earlier this year, which could be the final ingredient in making the 2014 holiday season a
bonanza for retailers.
The outlet sector may be driving the shop-early trend, or perhaps consumers are simply planning better. Regardless, consumers are shopping earlier and spending more. According to an NPD Group survey, 16% of consumers have already started their shopping versus 15% at this time last year. And consumers are expected to spend more this year on holiday shopping – $804, an increase of 5% according to an NRF story.
Black Friday used to be the Super Bowl of shopping, and while it is still an important day, more and more dollars are being spent on Christmas before Thanksgiving. And, with a large portion of retailers opening at 6PM and an increasing number of retailers, such as Kmart, Walgreens and Meijer, opening their doors in the AM hours of Thanksgiving Day, more and more consumers will be spending more on Thanksgiving Day.
With consumers starting their shopping earlier and more retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day, this holiday season will be the best in years for retailers. Early and often works in Chicago, and this year Chicago-style shopping will boost the coffers of retailers.
Source: Downs, Jere (2014, November 10). Holiday shopping underway in ‘Black November’. The Courier-Journal. Retrieved from http://www.courier-journal.com.