Black Friday Sales Hits Record, Retail traffic and Foot-falls up.

Preliminary reports for Black Friday indicate that retailers may have seen their strongest sales ever during the all-important kick-off to the holiday shopping season.

black friday sales

Retail sales on Black Friday climbed 6.6% this year to an estimated $11.4 billion, according to ShopperTrak, which tracks foot traffic at malls and stores. Last year, sales climbed just 0.3% to $10.7 billion, which was a record one-day sales amount at the time, according to the company.

“This is the largest year-over-year gain in ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate for Black Friday since the 8.3 percent increase we saw between 2007 and 2006,” said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. “Still, it’s just one day. It remains to be seen whether consumers will sustain this behavior through the holiday shopping season.”

However, sales have been strong throughout the entire month of November with retailers rolling out holiday deals earlier than ever. In the two weeks leading up to the week of Black Friday, retail sales were up 3.6% and 3.8%, respectively, ShopperTrak reported.

“Retailers continue to stretch out Black Friday weekend by enticing shoppers with doorbuster deals weeks in advance,” said Martin.

Online sales have also proven to be strong, with many big-box retailers and department stores offering deals online earlier this year.

Black Friday online sales surge 24%

Online sales were up 39.3% on Thanksgiving Day and 24.3% on Black Friday compared to the same days last year, according to IBM’s (IBM,Fortune 500) Coremetrics, which tracks real-time data from 500 retailers in the apparel, department store, health and beauty and home goods categories.

“This year marked Thanksgiving’s emergence as the first big spending day of the 2011 holiday season with a record number of consumers shifting their focus from turkey to tablets and the search for the best deals,” said John Squire, chief strategy officer at IBM’s Smarter Commerce division.

Consumers also spent slightly more than they did last year, although they spent most of that money on themselves. According to NPD Group consumers spent about 3% more on purchases during Black Friday. However, about 44% were self purchases up from 33% last year, the research group said.

Retail traffic on Black Friday up 2%

Total US visits to the top 500 Retail websites increased 2% on Black Friday as compared to 2010 and received more than 173 million US visits. Traffic has increased each day leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday and the total visits dipped slightly (-1%) on Black Friday compared Thanksgiving Day 2011. Early Black Friday sales resulted in a shift of online traffic, which climbed prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, however, continued heavy promotional activity helped to drive significant online traffic on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday. While Black Friday has been the top day for online retail traffic over the past two years, warm weather and early store openings encouraged shoppers to go online sooner this season.
DMS Retail 500 11-25-2011.png

Among the categories driving the growth in traffic on Black Friday were Department Stores (e.g. Amazon and Wal-Mart) Apparel & Accessories, Appliances & Electronics (e.g. Best Buy) and Video & Games (e.g. Game Stop).
DMS Retail Categories 11-25-2011.png

Below is a list of the top visited retail sites on Black Friday:
DMS Retail 500 Sites 11-25-2011.png

Many of the major retail websites experienced growth on Black Friday, including Amazon, Best Buy, JC Penney, Sears and Kohl’s. Amazon.com was the most visited website on Black Friday for the 7th year in a row.

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100 Retailers in Shopping Centers Released

China Chain Store & Franchise Association (CCFA) convened the Conference on Cooperation, Development and Exchanges Between Commercial Real Estate Developers and Chain Retailers in Ningbo of China’s eastern Zhejiang Province on June 9 and released the book 100 Retailers in Shopping Centers.

CCFA has selected over 100 outstanding chain retailers from its members in various business formats, which have the ability to make expansion nationwide. The Association categorized them according to existing business formats and functions of shopping centers and offered information on different aspects of these brands, such as features of their image, traffic, expansion rate and development plan.
Some are international brands, some are famous brands in China and some are leading brands in regions, including department stores, supermarkets, home appliance stores and household stores and covering all business formats like apparel, fashion, catering, cosmetics, entertainment, education and service. These can meet the demands of commercial properties to attract investment from various stores and provide a wide variety of retailers for commercial real estate developers.
In addition to the information in it, the book has also given professional analysis and different views from experts of shopping centers on the industry’s current situation, trend, investment, financing, planning and design.
It is a great aid for commercial real estate companies to learn and attract investment of their shopping center programs.
Here are some comments by developers of shopping centers on the book:
It is quite useful! The book can give guidance on brand portfolio and combination of business formats and it is a professional reference for the management of shopping centers.
– Wanda Commercial Management
Shopping centers are drivers for creating a fashionable and prosperous city, while brands are the core competitiveness of shopping centers in the market. Best wishes to 100 Retailers in Shopping Centers.
-Sunshine100 Real Estate Group
The book has integrated resources and set up platform for information exchanges, a show of CCFA’s function and value. 100 retailers is the start and we are aiming at 1000.
-Powerlong Real Estate Holdings Limited
The book is an excellent reference to see clearly the essence and core value of shopping centers.
-Shopping Center Department of CR Vanguard
Reading the book will free you from the worries when you are developing shopping centers.
-COFCO Commercial Property Investment Co., Ltd.

Albertsons Completes Chain-Wide Installation of DVD Rental Kiosks

Albertson’s, LLC has completed the deployment of Coinstar’s RedBox DVD rental kiosks at all 248 of its locations across the country, with the installation of units at 116 locations in Arizona, Florida and New Mexico.

“Albertsons’ commitment to our customer is to deliver the service and merchandise they want at an affordable price,” said Bob Butler, Albertson’s LLC SVP of marketing and merchandising. “Redbox is a great fit for our stores, and has proven to be a popular service that is convenient, easy to use and affordable.”

The DVD kiosks are part of Coinstar’s 4th Wall solutions, of which Albertsons was an early adopter. The solution consists of selections from a variety of options, including self-service coin counting, DVD rental, money transfer, electronic payment solutions and entertainment services.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertson’s, LLC operates 248 stores under the Albertsons banner in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas.

Orange shop-in-shop heading for HMV stores.

Orange and HMV are teaming up to promote Orange products and services via store-in-store units in HMV stores.

Dedicated Orange ‘show and sell’ spaces will be situated in the entertainment retailer’s stores, with a focus on music, games and video mobile handsets and services.

The deal will extend Orange UK’s retail presence and contribute to taking the brand past the 400 high street stores landmark. It also underlines HMV’s growing interest in the mobile and digital marketplace as it continues to diversify its product mix and develop as a multi-channel brand.

A first wave of up to 15 concession stores will be rolled out from June 2009, with the HMV stores in Glasgow, Plymouth and Teesside earmarked as the first to incorporate an Orange offer. Up to 100 locations have been earmarked to take the store-in-store approach by Christmas.

“This deal marks the coming together of two of Britain’s biggest and most iconic high street brands,” Orange UK chief executive Tom Alexander. “Moving beyond mobile and into media and entertainment is a key part of our future, and joining forces with such an iconic and well-loved brand as HMV allows us to mark our clear intention in this area, while expanding our presence on the high street.

“HMV has been diversifying and extending its customer offer, which is increasingly becoming a multi-channel one with a growing emphasis on technology and new media,” says HMV chief executive Simon Fox. “I am delighted to welcome Orange into our stores – our brands reflect a shared passion for bringing entertainment content to life, and complement each other well.”

High Street Retailers push towards Digital Distribution

High Street Retailers are now taking the steps and expanding their digital sales services to customers in preparation for the future. Metaboli’s Paul Howes believes that these steps are becoming pretty common now in the expected shift over to digital distribution within the next few years.

As reported by  GI.Biz, Paul Howes thinks that big UK retailers such as GAME are now seeing the signs of a digital era and are now taking the necessary steps to make sure they take advantage of this.

When speaking about Metaboli’s partnership with GAME he stated: ”We’ve seen in recent months a real development of that relationship. Initially we provided them with a white label portal, but in the last three or four months we’ve actually started integrating links into their product pages. So we’re giving their PC buyers a direct alternative to buying the boxed version.”

He also thinks that year 2012 will start to see the digital service overtake the High Street PC games sales.

He added: ”It’s an awful lot to do with broadband speeds and broadband networks. In the UK Virgin Media are pushing out 50 meg and fibre, BT is now pushing out fibre optic towards 2012. We feel that 2012 could well be the tipping point in the UK because of bandwidth issues. We’re seeing steady growth month on month and once we have that bandwidth in place we’ll see a real rush towards digital at that point,”

Source: PR News

PVR to add 50 screens in 2009-10.

Multiplex chain operator PVR plans to spend Rs 100 crore in the fiscal 2009-10 for building 50 screens and two bowling alleys.The company on Tuesday launched its first bowling entertainment centre in collaboration with Thai company Major Cineplex under the brand Blu O at Gurgaon. PVR Blue O, a 51:49 joint venture between PVR and Major Cineplex, plans to open 400-500 bowling lanes across metro cities in the next five years. PVR ‘s managing director Ajay Bijli said the company will expand bowling alleys to Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune in the first stage. “We will open over 20 bowling alleys per location and we have kept our cover charges on par with a movie ticket,” he added. Talking about the film production and distribution business, Mr Bijli said that the company is evaluating scripts and will look at making 4-6 movies in the next 2 years.

Google launches Google Voice telecom service

Internet search giant Google is edging into the telecommunications sector by releasing a new application that will transform voicemail messages into text-based emails.

The service is currently available to United States users of a Google-owned telephone service called GrandCentral, which was acquired by the group in July 2007.

GrandCentral customers are provided with a single phone number to combine their landline and mobile numbers, as well as a voicemail account. The new service allows users to send transcribed voice messages to their email, make free domestic calls and take part in six-way conference calls.

“The new application improves the way you use your phone,” said the company in a blog post. “You can get transcripts of your voicemail and archive and search all the text messages you send and receive. You can also use the service to make low-priced international calls.

“When you receive a voicemail, Google Voice will automatically transcribe it into text so you can read what the voicemail is about,” the company says.

But Google warns that because the service is “fully automated [it] may include mistakes”.

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