- In 2009, consumers spent on average $740 on Christmas presents.s
- In 2010, consumers can expect higher holiday prices for t-shirts and jeans
due to natural disasters in major cotton-producing countries such as Pakistan.
Holiday shoppers in 2010 plan to spend more on clothes (57%) than anything
else, including toys (41%)v.
- Consumers’ use of credit cards to shop during the 2010 holiday season
is the lowest since 2002. More Americans are expected to use their debit
cards or cash for holiday purchases to ensure they don’t go over their
Men, young adults, and Southerners are most likely to spend on themselves
The average holiday shopper will spend $107.50 on themselves.a
- In 2010, approximately 37.2% of Americans began holiday shopping by Halloween.a
- The National Retail Federation estimates that Black Friday Deals in 2010
will entice approximately 138 million consumers, an increase of 4 million
- Black Friday is not necessarily the best day to shop. Because of the recession,
retailers will offer deep discounts throughout the holiday season to keep
an edge in the competitive climate. Deep discounts days are especially notable
on the Saturday before Christmas or Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving).n
- While the deals offered on Black Friday often aren’t necessarily the
best deals that will be offered during the holiday shopping season, many
consumers will stand outside stores at 4:30 a.m. or earlier in the bitter
cold because it has become a family tradition as well as a ritual of sorts
that holds an important social component.e
- Shopping is influenced by several subconscious appeals to consumers. For
example, if shoppers like the type of music retailers are playing, shoppers
will be more likely to enter the store and like the products. Additionally,
the slower the tempo of the music, the slower people will walk through the
store, and the more they will buy. A faster tempo will encourage shoppers
to walk faster and, consequently, they won’t buy as much.r
- There are roughly 1,175 malls in the United States, which generate $308
billion in annual sales. On Black Friday 2010, retailers at shopping malls
reported sales of $10.7 billion, an increase of 0.3% from 2009.g
- Retailers rely on several psychological triggers to attract consumers into
their store, such as placing limits on items, offering “gifts” with
purchase, employing visual tricks, and declaring that sales are ending soon
(when in fact discounts are common throughout the season).t
- Many “door buster deals” advertised on Black Friday, such as
those on expensive items (like HDTVs), are typically in very limited supplies—maybe
just 4-6 per store—and act merely as lures to attract customers.n
Shoppers actively avoid the “butt brush” factor
Retail researchers note a “butt brush” effect, which means that
when a customer’s personal space is invaded, he or she will leave,
even if interested in the item.t
- On average, it takes five trips to the mall to complete all holiday shopping.b
- Research indicates that shopping has a direct effect on the brain’s
pleasure centers. It can flood the brain with dopamine, similar to the way
a drug addict experiences a fix.p
- The second most popular present after clothing in 2010 will be gift cards.
In 2009, consumers spent $23.6 billion on gift cards during the holidays,
with an average of $40 on each card. It is estimated that in 2010, 85% of consumers
will spend up to $50 on each gift card.j
- In an attempt to increase holiday sales, stores will send out emails, often
several in one day. The more a person browses the emails, the more likely
he or she is to buy. To avoid impulsive buying, psychologists suggest deleting
the emails without opening them unless consumers are already planning to
buy an item.t
- Satellite images of America’s most famous malls, like the Mall of
Georgia, show fuller parking lots than the last two years, pointing to a strong
end to the retail year. However, parking lot images don’t take into
other factors, such as online shoppers.m
- The National Retail Federation projects U.S. holiday sales to reach $447.1
billion in 2010, an increase of 2.3% from last year. While still lower than
average, the figure is better than the 3.9% drop in 2008 due to the economic downturn.a
- In 2009, holiday sales represented 19.1% of total retail industry sales.
Jewelry stores typically receive most of their sales (29.5%) during the holidays. For
some retailers, holiday sales make up between 25-50% of total sales. Many
retailers hope that starting the Christmas season earlier will result in
buying earlier and buying more.l
- The National Retail Federation considers the “holiday shopping” season
to be the full months of November and December, which is usually 55 days.l
- Coined by the National Retail Federation in 2005 to generate consumer excitement,
Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) is the online equivalent of
Black Friday. In 2009, Cyber Monday generated $887 million.q
- The entire 2009 online holiday shopping generated $27 billion. Researchers
predict 2010 online sales to increase 11% from 2009 to total approximately
The busiest shopping day of the year is the Saturday before Christmas
The busiest shopping day of the year is not Black Friday, but the Saturday
before Christmas. The busiest online shopping day takes place on the Monday
or Tuesday a week or two before the week of Christmas.q
- In 2009, stores hired an additional 453,600 workers for the holiday shopping
season. In 2008, retailers only hired 231,000.a
- In 2009, retailers lost $2.7 billion due to return fraud during the holiday
season. The most common form of return fraud is the return of stolen merchandise.
It is also common for criminals to return merchandise that was bought with
counterfeit receipts or currency. In the 2010 holiday season, return fraud
is expected to cost retailers $3.7 billion.f
- The projected top 10 Christmas toys for boys in 2010 are 1) video games,
2) LEGOs, 3) cars (generic), 4) Disney Toy Story figures, 5) Hot
Wheels, 6) Transformers, 7) Xbox 360, 8) Fisher-Price toys, (9) Iron
Man, and 10) trucks (generic) and Nintendo (tied).k
- The projected top 10 Christmas toys for girls in 2010 are 1) Barbie, 2)
dolls (generic), 3) Dora the Explorer, 4) video games, 5) Disney princesses,
6) Zhu Zhu pets, 7) American Girl, 8) Fisher-Price toys, 9) Disney Hannah
Montana, and 10) Bratz.k
- Researchers have proven that a “50% off” sign leads in increased
sales, even if shoppers don’t know the original price or what a reasonable
price for the product would be.e
- When a salesperson asks a shopper which of several items she or he prefers,
the shopper will often skip the question “Should I buy? and instead
ask “Which one should I buy?”e
- Researchers have found that presenting a confusing sales pitch (e.g., telling
a potential customer that a candy bar is 300 cents) and then reframing the
statement in a clearer way increases the sale of an item.e
Retailers use several psychological triggers to entice consumers into their stores
Retailers take advantage of traditional Christmas smells and tastes to attract
customers. For example, retailers may waft the smell of roasting chestnuts
throughout their store and offer free samples of Christmas cookies. Holiday
smells and tastes also stimulate the saliva glands, which makes shoppers
hungry. Hungry shoppers are more likely to buy anything, not just food.r
- Six percent of the U.S. population can be considered “compulsive buyers,” which
is an addiction to shopping that affects both men and women equally.p
- Retailers often stock “impulse buys” at the end of aisles and
near the cash registers. Researchers have noted that a traditional Thanksgiving
dinner full of tryptophan and carbohydrates creates serotonin, which is known
to reduce impulsive behavior.e
- In 2008, a Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death when he attempted to
open the doors to the store at 5 a.m. on Black Friday.u In 2010, there were
several reports of violence on Black Friday, including a Wisconsin woman
who was arrested when she threatened other shoppers with a gun after she
cut in line.d
- December 15-24th is the crux of the holiday shopping season, accounting
for 40% of holiday business.g
- All 364 items in the popular song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” would
cost $96,824 in 2010, an increase of 10.8% from last year. Just one of everything
would cost $23,439, which is a 9.2% increase from 2009.w
- Online Black Friday sales in 2010 are estimated to be $648 million, up 9%
from 2009. On Thanksgiving Day itself, shoppers spent $407 million online.c
-- Posted November 30, 2010
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Beware—of How You’re
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