Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Maritz predicts not so exciting Black Friday 2008

Just another grim prediction for the upcoming “Black Friday” to boost retailers’ morale.  Famous travel and marketing research firm, Maritz conducted an online poll on 1,525 respondents on holiday shopping, buying behaviors and gift giving trends from October 14 to October 24, 2008. Here are the some of the findings of the poll: 

The retailers which are going to see the highest number of buyers are: Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Toys R Us, K-Mart, Kohl's, Sears, Macy's,Circuit City, Victoria's Secret, and Apple Store/iTunes. People are willing to go for big-box retailers because they have the capability to offer competitive prices and comes with a wide range of product choice which makes their stores a “one-stop shopping” center. Buyers are going to choosier. These stores should go for value added benefits like free shipping or any other value added services to ensure their profit.           

Retailers are not gathering up items in fear of inventory build up. Hence, there is a good chance a shoppers might not get everything in one store. However, in order to be competitive, retailers should have a good stock of gift cards, though the projected spending on gift card per people has decreased. Market Watch reports: 

According to the poll, 55 percent of respondents still plan to purchase gift cards this year (compared to 56 percent in 2007 and 54 percent in 2006). The number of gift cards purchased will also remain the same as last year (with a median of four gift cards each year). But the true difference is in the amount spent on each gift card. The average spend on gift cards dropped to $161 from $273 in 2007. Based on the projected overall spend this holiday season, approximately 29 percent of gift giving will involve gift cards, compared to 43 percent last year.


Four out of five respondents said that they bought items only when they find a sale. Three out of four respondents are doing pre-shopping research to get the best deals. Seven out of ten already purchased gifts before the season and 65% respondents admitted to cut back the number of gifts per person.   

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Market Watch