Thursday, September 22, 2016

Black Friday 2016 Preview

“Last Year’s Black Friday Hurt...”

Updated! With Labor Day now a fond memory, all eyes are looking ahead to November when the nation’s biggest — and for many, most important — event will take place.

Sorry, we’re not talking the presidential election here: The subject at hand is Black Friday. With Thanksgiving just 77 days away, and many of the week’s promotions already locked and loaded, it’s not too early to begin the conversation.

And the discussion, argued Stephen Baker, The NPD Group’s consumer technology industry analysis VP, should start with nomenclature.

“Black Friday is not the operative term anymore,” he told TWICE. “Now it is a full week of deals as the expansion of retailers to online and the needs of online retailers to compete with off line has extended the time frame past just one day.

“That said,” he continued, “the question should not be about how promotional Black Friday or Thanksgiving Week is going to be, because it is going to be as promotional as every retailer, and brand, can make it. With the overall business remaining challenging, no business can afford to sit on the sidelines and not compete that week and expect to be successful.”...

Read the entire article courtesy of Twice:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Women Are Buying More Luxury Vehicles

Kelly Dahle remembers leaving her workplace one day at the same time of day as the company’s CEO exited the office doors. When they arrived at her car, the CEO was startled.

“Great car! But why do you need a BMW?” he asked.

Dahle didn’t respond but she could have told her boss to get used to it. Women are buying more luxury vehicles than ever before, thanks to growing earnings, better marketing and a richer mix of products designed to appeal to them.

In the U.S., 41 percent of luxury vehicles sold so far this year were bought by women, up from 37 percent five years ago, according to car shopping site

Historically, women were considered the practical car shoppers. They needed family haulers and didn’t want to shell out extra cash for flashy, powerful Mercedes sedans or Porsche sports cars.

But the luxury market has changed....

Read the rest of the article courtesy of The Detroit News

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Don’t Ignore These Holiday Security Issues

In the lead-up to this year’s holiday season, retailers across the country are already making important preparations in the hopes of increasing sales, improving customer service, and preventing data breaches. This last concern carries with it a heavy price tag; according to a survey from the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of holiday season cyber attacks is $8,000 per minute or nearly half-a-million dollars per hour. 

In addition to the high monetary cost for retailers, these types of breaches also impact a significant amount of individual customers by exposing sensitive information. For example, between May 2013 and January 2014, Michaels suffered a data breach that compromised the information of potentially 2.6 million payment cards....  

With this and other past breaches in mind, here are four security issues that retailers should be aware of in anticipation of the upcoming holiday shopping season...

Read the entire article courtesy of Chain Store Age

Monday, September 19, 2016

Non-Traditional Sports/Fitness Activities Expand Their Appeal

“These activities fit well with Americans’ desires for flexible fitness – social, befitting of community and belonging with identifiable improvement in performance.”

The report explores in depth how the trends are driven by millennials who have grown into the largest and most powerful consumer segment accounting for 25 percent of the U.S. population and nearly $200 billion in annual spending.

With steep financial concerns and highly scheduled social lives, millennials are looking for more flexibility in integrating fitness-related activity with social and everyday life. At the same time, millennials are placing an emphasis on experience over goods, which can make them cynical to traditional marketing approaches...

Read the entire article courtesy of SGB Media:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

How ‘Shoppertainment’ Elevates the In-Store Experience to Drive Traffic and Sales

Online retail sales continue to grow as changing shopper behavior places greater expectations on brick-and-mortar retail. Despite this trend, store-based retailing remains more profitable than direct-to-consumer retailing, largely due to the high cost of free shipping and returns associated with online sales. 

The silver lining for retailers is that many consumers still prefer in-store shopping. In fact, Accenture recently found that 82% of tech-savvy millennials enjoy shopping in physical – not digital – stores. So, bringing shoppers back may be easier – and more fun – than expected.

The Shopping Trip as an Experience
The goal of “shoppertainment,” or experiential retailing, is to draw shoppers into the physical space by offering interactive and engaging activities. Mall operators are seasoned at implementing shoppertainment methods to differentiate their space from other retail offerings – examples include temporary events such as Santa Claus during the holidays and permanent fixtures like carousels.

Today, individual retailers of all sizes are looking for new ways to connect with customers and retain brick-and-mortar sales. What is a great way to do this? Think of the shopping journey as an experience, and make it both unique and memorable....

Read the entire article courtesy of CSA:


More than ever, retail is a highly local game, and retailers of all sizes need to gain deeper understanding of their markets to remain relevant to their customers. 

U.S. consumers are always looking to make the most of their hard-earned dollars, and with an array of choices on where to shop—from grocery stores to supercenters to warehouse clubs—they have no shortage of retailers from which to choose. So how are different retail channels keeping pace with today’s shopper and navigating today’s complex shopping landscape?...

Read the entire article courtesy of Nielsen:

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Minivan Is Back, and It’s Kind of Cool!

Mom-jeans are stylish again, Pokémon is ubiquitous, and the minivan is having a major moment. As the old saying goes: Those who fail to learn from the 1990s are doomed to repeat them.

Minivan sales in the U.S. are up 21 percent so far this year, outmatching every class of vehicle except the midsize pickup. And though the bloated kid-carrier has yet to match its heyday, U.S. drivers are on pace to buy more than 600,000 of them this year for the first time in almost a decade. If the current pace holds, more people will purchase these soccer practice-pods than subcompact cars such as the Honda Fit or such entry-level luxury cars as the BMW 3 series.

Its renaissance was hard to see coming. Until recently, the minivan looked as though it were headed for the historical scrap heap, along with the pickup car and the Volkswagen diesel.
The antagonist? An army of SUVs. Minivan sales in the U.S. peaked in 2000 at approximately 1.4 million vehicles. Two years later, Americans bought more than 3 million SUVs for the first time. These vehicles were big, tall, and infinitely cooler. Nowadays there are roughly 100 SUVs to choose from in the U.S.—from a $20,000 version that looks like a swollen sedan to a $100,000 land yacht with a few longhorns-worth of leather stitched inside. Meanwhile, there are six minivans. The ratio isn’t a coincidence: When it comes to style, SUVs are considered the vehicular equivalent of a leather jacket, while minivans are a pair of cargo-shorts....

Read the entire article courtesy of Bloomburg: