aNb Media News, November 29, 2016

Black Friday Deals Were Irresistible to Shoppers

More than 154 million consumers shopped over Thanksgiving weekend, up from 151 million shoppers in 2015, according to the annual Thanksgiving weekend results survey released over the weekend by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Average spending per person over Thanksgiving weekend totaled $289.19, down slightly from $299.60 last year. An average of $214.13 specifically went toward gifts, which accounted for 74 percent of total purchases, according to the survey.

“It was a strong weekend for retailers, but an even better weekend for consumers, who took advantage of some really incredible deals,” said Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO. “In fact, over one third of shoppers said 100 percent of their purchases were on sale.”

The survey found that 44 percent of shoppers went online and 40 percent shopped in-store. The most popular day to shop online was Black Friday, up 1.3 percent from last year to 74 percent, followed by Saturday (49 percent), Thanksgiving (36 percent), and Sunday (34 percent). And, of those that shopped in store, 75 percent shopped on Black Friday, up 3.4 percent from last year, 40 percent on Saturday, 35 percent on Thanksgiving, and 17 percent on Sunday.

Nearly three in 10 shoppers (29 percent) headed to stores after 10am on Black Friday, up from 24 percent last year. Less than 15 percent of consumers arrived at stores by 6am or earlier on Black Friday. Early Thanksgiving Day in-store shopping dropped by 19 percent with only seven percent of consumers heading to stores before 5pm while shopping that day itself was up one percent.

The survey also found that only nine percent of consumers have finished their holiday shopping, down from 11 percent last year. While 23 percent have yet to make any dents to their lists, up from 19 percent last year.

Millennials (ages 18–34) continue to drive the increase in shopping during Thanksgiving Weekend. Eight in 10 shopped over the weekend, of which 25-34-year olds shopped the most in store (56 percent) and online (62 percent).

The survey found that of those that shopped in store, 51 percent shopped at department stores, 34 percent at discount stores, 32 percent at electronics stores, 28 percent at clothing or accessories stores, and 25 percent at grocery/supermarket stores.

Some of the most popular gifts purchased over the weekend included clothing or clothing accessories (50 percent), toys (32 percent), electronics (30 percent), books, CDs, DVDs, videos, or video games (28 percent), and gift cards (20 percent).

According to the survey, 56 percent of smartphone owners and 53 percent of tablet owners used their devices to assist with weekend shopping activities.

The survey, which asked 4,330 consumers about Thanksgiving weekend shopping plans, was conducted November 25–26.

Small Business Saturday Grows

More shoppers reported visiting local independent businesses on Small Business Saturday (November 26) this year than ever before, according to results from the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express. This year, an estimated 112 million consumers reported shopping at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, marking a 13 percent increase from 2015.

Small Business Saturday saw record levels of support from communities and local organizations this year. More than 6,700 Neighborhood Champions rallied local businesses and created events in their communities for Small Business Saturday, which is an increase of 63 percent over last year. Additionally, the estimated number of small business owners reached through the Neighborhood Champion program was 2.1 million.

More than 480 organizations joined the Small Business Saturday Coalition, a 13 percent increase over last year. The Coalition, a group created in 2011 to help amplify the Shop Small message, is comprised of national, state, and local associations that help coordinate activities for Small Business Saturday with consumers and small business owners.

Additionally, consumers and small businesses helped rally support for Small Business Saturday and their favorite small businesses on social media channels. So far this month, there were 135 million social media engagements in support of Small Business Saturday, up from 85 million in 2015.

Toy of the Year Finalists Featured on Amazon and Toys “R” Us

The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) announced that the 2017 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Award finalists are being featured on and through February 2017, providing shoppers with access to a comprehensive “toy hot list” selected by toy and play experts.

For the first time, TOTY finalists are identifiable on the Amazon and Toys “R” Us websites, letting shoppers know that the toys have been vetted by the industry awards program. Many companies with nominated products opted to take advantage of an additional opportunity, allowing them to gain more prominent visibility for their toys on the retailers’ websites before, during, and after the holiday season. These companies’ toys and games are being highlighted on the retailers’ homepages, across their websites, via social media/email channels, and in two Toys “R” Us inserts with a total circulation of 24 million.

This year’s TOTY nominees were reviewed and ranked by 25 judges, including toy and play experts, retailers, academics, and journalists, who considered each product’s creativity, design, and promotion; excellence; and marketplace acceptance before narrowing the field of 700 submissions to a slate of 100 finalists. Winners will be announced in February 2017 at the awards dinner held during Toy Fair.

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