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Thanksgiving holiday dollar volume growth outpaced Black Friday growth, analysis finds

BY Alaric DeArment

ATLANTA — Holiday shopping got a big boost during Thanksgiving weekend, and most of the growth came from shopping on Thanksgiving itself rather than Black Friday, according to a new report.

First Data Corp., a payment processing company, released the SpendTrend report Friday, based on its tracking of same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debt, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks. The report found 9% growth over last year, compared with last year’s 5.6% growth over 2011; by contrast, Black Friday spending growth was 3.4%.

"In addition to promotions and early openings, we saw many retailers make it even easier for customers to shop by providing a seamless integration of in-store, online and mobile initiatives that allowed shoppers to buy products wherever and whenever," First Data SVP information and analytics solutions Krish Mantripragada said. "While the start of the holiday spending season was robust, merchants will continue to monitor shoppers to see if they can sustain the spending growth through the holiday season."

The high growth on Thanksgiving itself may vindicate some retailers’ decisions to open on Thanksgiving. Many retailers took heavy criticism from consumers for opening on Thanksgiving, while those that didn’t often made a point to tell shoppers they would be closed for the holiday.

Average ticket growth for retailers was 3.8%, compared with last year’s 1.9% growth over 2011, and overall transaction growth was 4.9%, with most of that coming from shopper foot traffic on Thanksgiving. Black Friday transaction growth was 2.2%.

 

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Sears Holdings files with SEC for Lands’ End spinoff

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – Sears Holdings is spinning off its clothing business, the parent company of Kmart said Friday.

Sears said it had filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to spin off Lands’ End. The company hopes that separating the management of Sears Holdings and Lands’ end will make it easier for the latter to pursue opportunities on its own.

The retailer announced in late October that it was looking to spin off the Lands’ End and Sears Auto Center businesses in an effort to improve its performance in the third quarter of fiscal year 2013. Calling Lands’ End an "iconic brand," Sears Holdings said it has the potential to become a more global brand and that it would not pursue the spinoff as a sale, but as a way to maximize value for shareholders.

 

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Tide Pods partners with fashion designer Tracy Reese

BY Ryan Chavis

CINCINNATI — Tide Pods, a line of laundry detergent capsules from Proctor & Gamble, has announced a new partnership with acclaimed clothing designer and Council of Fashion Designers of America member Tracy Reese.

For the first time, Reese will be introducing machine-washable fashions as part of her Fall 2014 collection. The collaboration is in conjunction with the Tide Pods and CFDA Washable Fashion Initiative, a response to the ongoing demand for washable garments and an uptick in consumer appetite for designer fashions.

Earlier this year, Reese and CFDA CEO Steven Kolb paid a visit to the P&G research facilities to get a glimpse at garment care process and the innovations behind products like Tide Pods. The three-chambered, single-dose laundry detergent is the result of over eight years of consumer research. The end result: the laundry process is simpler and less time-consuming.

“As a designer, it is very important to me to create garments for real women, in fact it’s something I take a lot of pride in,” Reese said. “And real women do laundry, so it only made sense for me to extend that consideration to how they care for my pieces. As I learned more about Tide Pods and the comprehensive research and development that goes into ensuring their performance, I was inspired to rethink the idea of washable in my own designs. I have come to believe that just because a garment is made from washable fabrics doesn’t mean it has to sacrifice anything in terms of design.”

Fans will be able to get in on the fashion design process thanks to Tide’s Pinterest page, where they’ll be able to influence two washable looks that appear in the Fall 2014 collection. Reese has created two potential design sketches for each of the washable looks. Fans can vote on their favorite looks by repinning the sketches using #WashableFashion. The looks with the most repins will make it to the runway at New York Fashion Week in February. Voting runs through Dec. 14 at Pinterest.com/Tide.

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