From our friends at The NPD Group:
What did the beginning of November and Black Friday have in common? A slow start.
Despite holiday promotions starting as early as November 1, NPD’s U.S. weekly point-of-sale results for key general merchandise categories reveal that holiday shopping over the first week of November 2018 (week ending 11/10/18) didn’t reach the 2017 levels for the same week. However, higher ticket items made an early-season impact, driving the average amount spent during this week up more than 6 percent compared to the same week last year.
“While purchasing didn’t kick into full gear as early as retailers may have hoped, the consumer’s willingness to spend offers an early glimmer of a happy holiday season at retail,” said Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief industry advisor.
Then came Black Friday, which sets a mood for the consumer and is an indication of things to come. But, while a good Black Friday makes us all feel holiday will do well, a poor one doesn’t mean poor growth performance for the holiday overall. What were the common themes that each of our industry advisors noticed as they hit the stores over this peak holiday shopping period?
…Spoiler alert – the biggest callout? Black Friday weekend has changed.
“Now, as shoppers have become more engaged in promotions, particularly over the peak Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend and Cyber Week, retailers will need to find ways to drive the number of register rings and online cart completions up while not sacrificing the spend with too-steep discounts,” adds Cohen.
Interested in more holiday insights? Check NPD’s Holiday Insights page for the latest, and contact me if you would like to speak with Marshal Cohen, or any of our other industry advisors, for their perspective on the 2018 holiday season.