December 2, 2013

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Senator Amy Klobuchar, joined by Minneapolis Mayor-Elect Betsy Hodges, celebrated Small Business Saturday by shopping at Creative Kidstuff in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis. Also pictured far right: Creative Kidstuff's Roberta Bonoff.
Retail Sales
NRF Reports Consumers "Gobbled Up" Thanksgiving Weekend Retail Deals 


Excerpted from the National Retail Federation, December 1, 2013

"More than 141 million (estimated) unique shoppers have already or will have shopped by the end of the big Thanksgiving weekend, up from 139 million over the same time frame last year. For those who shopped multiple times over the weekend, the survey found more than 248 million waited in line, took advantage of big discounts offered throughout the mall and shopped on retailers websites, up from 247 million shoppers last year. According to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics over the weekend, traffic on Thanksgiving Day itself grew 27 percent as nearly 45 million shoppers, or 31.8 percent of holiday shoppers, took advantage of special "turkey day" savings offers, up from 35 million in 2012. Black Friday was the biggest day: more than 92 million people shopped (65.2%) for apparel, electronics and more, up from nearly 89 million last year.

Low prices helped keep Americans' budgets in check this weekend: on average, shoppers spent $407.02 from Thursday through Sunday (planned), down from $423.55 last year. Total spending is estimated to reach $57.4 billion.*  

"Cold weather, unique promotions and unbeatable prices put millions of Americans in the mood to shop for holiday gifts this weekend," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "Retailers' late night and early morning promotions struck just the right chord for those hoping to kick off the holiday shopping season with friends and family. With only a few weeks until the big day, retailers will continue to aggressively promote their in-store and online offerings, looking to entice today's very budget-conscious and value-focused shopper."  

Thanksgiving weekend deals are especially enticing to young people. More than three-quarters (76.2%) of 18 - 34 year olds shopped or planned to shop over the holiday weekend - higher than any other age group - with Black Friday being the most popular day (70.9%).

Shoppers Visited Stores Earlier

Eager to kick off the holiday shopping season, one-quarter (25.4%) of holiday shoppers say they were at stores by 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night; nearly four in 10 (37.3%) were at stores by midnight, up from 28.0 percent last year. Early hours aren't for everyone however; more than one-third (35.8%) didn't arrive at stores until 10 a.m. or later.

Online Promotions Excite Holiday Shoppers

The weekend shopping excitement wasn't limited to stores; consumers also spent more of their holiday budgets online. According to the survey, four in 10 (42.1%) indicated they shopped online over the weekend, or approximately 59 million shoppers.  

Of those, the average person spent $177.67 online over the weekend, or approximately 43.7 of their total weekend spending, up from 40.7 percent last year. NRF also asked shoppers which days they shopped online - more than one-quarter (26.5%) of holiday shoppers said they shopped online on Thanksgiving Day, and nearly half (47.1%) shopped online on Black Friday. Additionally, 35.7 percent shopped online on Saturday and 24.5 percent have shopped or will shop online on Sunday.

More than 76 million (54.2%) shoppers visited their favorite department store over the weekend, and nearly 55 million (38.9%) visited discount stores. Additionally, 32.2 percent (45 million) shopped at electronics stores and 28.7 percent, or 40 million, went to clothing or accessories stores for gifts.

Advertising Circulars, Retailers' Emails Helped Shoppers Find Bargains

According to the survey, almost half (49.2%) of holiday shoppers over the weekend sought out information about promotions and sales via advertising circulars, and one-third (33.0%) conducted online searches to find the best deals. Additionally, 36.8 percent made sure to keep track of emails from retailers, 16.4 percent reviewed retail companies' Facebook accounts for information, and 12.2 percent browsed stores to find bargains and sales."

See related story from Reuters "Holiday weekend sales dip on discounts; e-commerce jumps", December 1, 2013.

Your Perspective
Take MnRA's Quick Thanksgiving Weekend Survey


 As you might imagine, the MnRA phones are ringing with requests from the media for comments on Thanksgiving Weekend sales.


To help us respond to these requests please take a moment to provide us your Thanksgiving Weekend observations via a brief survey.


Small Business Saturday
Klobuchar Boosts Small Business Shopping

From Minnesota Public Radio, Elizabeth Baier, November 30, 2013


"DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar stopped at a Minneapolis toy store Saturday to encourage holiday shoppers to spend money at small and local businesses.Klobuchar and Minneapolis Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges stopped at Creative Kidstuff in Minneapolis to tout Small Business Saturday, the annual promotion that brings in more than $5 billion to small retailers across the country.


Klobuchar said more than half of businesses in Minnesota, or roughly 120,000, are small businesses. "It is important to realize that we've got a lot of local businesses and they tend to one, employ people in our state. And two, the money goes right back into the community because the owners live here," Klobuchar said.


Creative Kidstuff owner Roberta Bonoff said while she can't mark down prices as much as big box retailers, she is able to offer more personalized shopping experiences to customers.

"I can't compete on price. It's just not possible. I don't have their buying power. So then you have to figure out what you mean to the consumer, what you mean to your neighborhood, what you mean to the people in your community," Bonoff said.


This year, there are 26 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas compared to last year's 32 days.


That means retailers big and small are expected to increase their marketing efforts to compete for consumer dollars, according to Bruce Nustad, president of the Minnesota Retailers Association.


"Some of the publicity around shopping between Thanksgiving and Christmas is actually great for all businesses," Nustad said. "It reminds consumers that now's the time to shop, and to shop local," Nustad said. "I think there's an upside for small businesses."


See related articles by WCCO-TV and KSTP.  


Special thanks to Creative Kidstuff's Roberta Bonoff for hosting Senator Amy Klobuchar on Saturday. 


Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday Popular Among Working Consumers

From RetailingToday, Dan Berthiaume, November 25, 2013


"Nearly nine-in-10 (86%) working consumers plan to spend at least some time shopping or browsing online for gifts during work hours this Cyber Monday. A new RetailMeNot retail trends report also shows that 25% of working Americans plan to actually spend four hours or more shopping online for gifts during work hours that day. 


According to the survey, nearly one-in-four (24%) winter holiday gift givers plan to do more online shopping for gifts than they did last year. Parents are more likely than those with children (34% compared to 18%) to plan to do more online shopping for winter holiday gifts than they did last year.


Nearly half (46%) of winter holiday gift givers surveyed are likely to use a mobile device when shopping for the holiday season this year. Males are more likely than females (52% versus 40%) to plan to use a mobile device when shopping for the winter holiday season this year. Parents are more likely than those without children (64% versus 36%) to plan to use a mobile device when shopping for this year's winter holiday season." 

Member Service
MnRA's RetailPlus+ Buying Group

The Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA) has leveraged the collective clout of our members to offer increased savings on the products and services essential to retailers. These vital products and services help Minnesota retailers navigate the often complicated terrain of operating as a retailer.

Thank you for your patience as we redesign the web presence of the RetailPlus+ Buying Group in the coming weeks.

Question on the program? Contact the MnRA staff at (651) 227-6631.  

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