Don’t Worry, Thanksgiving Weekend Retail Spending is Down 3%

chart-sales-downA National Retail Federation survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics projects retail spending during Thanksgiving weekend to be $57.4 billion, a 3% decrease vs. Thanksgiving weekend 2012.

But during a conference call on Dec. 1, neither NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay or Prosper’s Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow seemed to be alarmed by the drop-off in Thanksgiving weekend sales figures.

[CLICK HERE for Multichannel Merchant’s Cyber Weekend 2013 coverage]

“This is a snapshot of the four day period,” Shay said, “I will stick with our prediction, that holiday sales will be up 3.9%.”

Shay said the shortness of the 2013 holiday shopping season cannot be stressed enough when you look at the Thanksgiving Weekend retail transactions. A look at November retail sales prior to Thanksgiving show consumers have been out shopping all month, well in advance of the traditional Black Friday kickoff.

[IBM’s Jay Henderson Talks About Black Friday Showrooming]

“From all the surveys we’ve done, we know there have been people shopping (for the holidays) all year long – 25% of consumers have been shopping for last six months,” Shay said. “Despite what all the economic indicators tell us, for too many Americans, things aren’t that great. We can’t tell them when to start their holiday shopping.”

Goodfellow said shoppers on average are doing some belt tightening, and that the general theme is that people are watching what they spend, and are doing the holiday season on a budget.

And Goodfellow added the shortness of the holiday shopping season has meant retailers have been more promotional than ever to get consumers shopping in store or online.

[Adobe: Black Friday Ecommerce Sales Just Miss $2 Billion]

“Usually a lull (in sales) until mid-December, but it’s been a very promotional season so I think momentum will continue,” Goodfellow said. “Retailers are going to be very aggressive with promotions. The ones who are most aggressive are going to grab those holiday dollars.”

The last time there was not year-over-year growth during the holiday season was in 2008, when the banking and housing crises began, and 2009, the first year of The Great Recession.

Partner Content

Hincapie Sportswear Finds Omnichannel Success in the Cloud - Netsuite
For more and more companies, a cloud-based unified data solution is the way to make this happen. Custom cycling apparel maker Hincapie Sportswear has leveraged this capability to gain greater visibility into revenue streams, turning opportunities into sales more quickly while gaining overall operating efficiency. Download this ecommerce special report from Multichannel Merchant to more.
The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.