From The Editor | October 23, 2013

Drive Holiday Sales Gains, Though Black Friday Wanes

Matt Pillar editor in chief integrated solutions for retailers

Black Friday is a big deal, but not for long. Millennials are clawing their way into an influential consumer spending position, and new research from CFI Group suggests they don’t give a plate of figgy pudding about Black Friday. The waning relevance of Black Friday is compounded by retailers’ own design—promotions now stretch the madness once reserved for the Friday after Thanksgiving into a five-day free-for-all that starts immediately following Thanksgiving dessert and ends at sundown on Cyber Monday. This dilution of the Black Friday impact isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but retailers must pay close attention to trends and data to understand and respond to its implications.

CFI just released its Retail Holiday Spending Report, a much-welcomed departure from the gloomy holiday sales forecasts that start pushing their way into the news cycle this year. This report doesn’t attempt prognostication on how much consumers will spend. Instead, it offers some very constructive advice for retailers—advice that’s based on hard shopping trends and preferences data. In other words, it’s less “hey, holiday sales will only climb 3.9% this year, sorry about your luck,” and more “hey, here’s where, why, and how consumers are shopping this fall, sliced and diced by consumer demographic pretty much any way you want it.” For retailers trying to walk their customer-centric talk, understanding that is far more constructive than lamenting the premature math.

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