You can start by reading more here:
Last week Time provided a quick overview – much of which I covered in depth in my previous posts. The article relies heavily on the report from Booz & Co.
The retail labor picture remains murky. Applications have dropped sharply since last year.
Kmart and Sears expect sales to increase 3.3 percent during the holiday season – roughly inline with overall holiday projections. Kmart and Sears are eliminating layaway service fees, starting a layaway home-delivery service and are employing new in-store mobile applications. Staff carrying tablets will be able to check inventory, access product information and assist with checkout. The company expects the 2012 holiday season to be the busiest shopping season since 2007.
Macy’s and Toys’R’Us are teaming up for the holiday season by bring Toys’R’Us express-branded departments to 24 Macy’s stores. BestBuy’s GeekSquad is also pushing into eBay and Target (as I’ve mentioned in the past).
A presentation from eMarketer highlights a few trends:
- eMarketer predicts eCommerce holiday sales will grow 16.8 percent.
- Hay Group suggests 31% of retailers are starting holiday promotions earlier in 2012.
- comScore estimates shopping on Thanksgiving Day was up 18% in 2011 (to $479M).
- Online sales on Christmas Day 2011 grew 16.4%. 39% of online consumers shopped after Christmas and 32% finished holiday shopping after Christmas
- Nearly 1 in 4 online consumers purchased a gift through a dail deal site during the 2011 holiday season
- Mobile shoppers contributed 11 percent of sales on retail sites
After declining in the U.S. in 2011, Black Friday grew significantly in 2012. Will it push higher in 2012?
The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article titled “The Myth of the Black Friday Deal.” Black Friday is built on the premise of great deals across a variety of categories. While the article suggests some items can be found below Black Friday prices during periods outside of Black Friday weekend, I would suggest Black Friday weekend sees the highest volume of deals. As the article points out, Apple rarely discounts its products, but did offer a 10 percent discount last year on Black Friday. So in many instances, Black Friday weekend will represent the best deals even if those deals are relatively small.