Entries in holiday sales (8)


Holiday Sales Decline and Stocks Fall

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Early signs of disappointing holiday sales dragged down the averages on Thursday.

Stocks initially edged higher on some positive signs for the housing market, but then lost ground as shares of retailers sank. Data shows that retailers' sales increased over the past two months leading up to Christmas, but amounted to less than 1 percent.

Trading volume is extremely light because of the holidays. Investors are still awaiting for a resolution to the budget showdown in Washington.

The Dow lost 24 points to close at 13,115. Nasdaq is off 22. The S&P went down 7 points.

Shares of Macy's, Sears and Urban Outfitters all fell.

MasterCard's SpendingPulse says the sales increase for November and December turned out to be just  7 tenths of a percent over last year, the smallest gain since 2008.  But the firm says retailers still have a chance to make up for lost ground, from now until the end of the year.

A recent University of Michigan index showed consumer confidence at a five-month low.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Online Holiday Sales Boom for Retailers

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The retail industry is putting the finishing touches on its plans for the holiday shopping season. A big consumer trend is almost certain to continue this fall with online sales taking a bigger share of retail dollars.

“We’re predicting 15-17 percent growth outside of the stores themselves,” says Alison Kenney Paul, vice chairman and U.S. Retail & Distribution leader at Deloitte consulting. “Online via mobile via catalog – that’s where the real robust growth is going to continue to come from.” 

The firm’s annual holiday season shopping survey forecasts only a modest increase in sales compared with last year. Sales at many stores could be flat, but “retailers are really using mobile communications as a mainstream marketing tool much more than they have in the past,” says Paul.

Shoppers will spend on big gifts but may cut back elsewhere. “Economic headwinds nagging consumers this fall include stubbornly high gasoline prices that continue to creep up and soft housing and job markets,” said Carl Steidtmann, Deloitte’s chief economist.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Presidents Day 2012 Sales Better Than Black Friday?

Tom Pennington/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Although many Americans are still recovering from the busy holiday shopping season that included record Black Friday sales, Presidents Day discounts are expected to be even deeper.

Shop It To Me, a personalized online sales shopper, found that Presidents Day sales averaged 46.7 percent off apparel, shoes and accessories, outpacing those of Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), which averaged up to 42.1 percent off, and Cyber Monday (three days later), which saw discounts of 41.1 percent.

Presidents Day ranks second just behind Labor Day as the best holiday to grab the steepest online apparel sales, said the San Francisco based company. Like Black Friday, retailers are launching Presidents Day online sales Friday before the actual holiday, said Tamra Feldman, Shop It To Me’s vice president of marketing.

“So people with downtime will find great sales online,” she said, adding that shoppers might want to act quickly. “I do think the best items won’t last long or many sizes will be gone.”

Shop It To Me compiled descriptions of Presidents Day sales and promotions from 40 retailers.  Among Feldman’s favorites are those of J. Crew, which is offering a 20 percent discount off online orders of $150 or more, and Nordstrom, which is offering a 40 percent clearance on shoes, with free shipping and returns.

Average holiday discounts, based on Shop It To Me’s 2011 data:

1. Labor Day: 48.4 percent off
2. Presidents Day: 46.7 percent off
3. Columbus Day: 45.2 percent off
4. New Year’s Day: 44.2 percent off
5. Independence Day: 43.5 percent off
6. Memorial Day: 42 percent off

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Five of the Best After-Christmas Sales

Brendon Thorne/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Want to exchange those bad Christmas gifts for something better, or just treat yourself to something new on this “Mega Monday?” Here are five of the best deals shoppers will find as they return to the stores and malls the day after Christmas.

Deal #1 -- Gaming Console:  Kinect and XBox 4GB: Buy it at Target for $299 and you get a $75 Target gift card (regularly selling for $375).  Plus, games are on sale:  Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is $39 (regularly $59) at Best Buy, Target and Amazon.

Deal #2 -- Laptop:
  Acer Aspire Core i5 17″ screen $425 (regularly $560) at Walmart.

Deal #3 -- Tech Accessories: 
HP glossy photo paper just $2 (regularly $8) at Best Buy  and an iPad2 case with Bluetooth keyboard is $49 (regularly $69) at Radio Shack.

Deal #4 -- Tech Basics: 
Get an iTunes gift card for 15 percent off at Best Buy.

Deal #5 -- Clothing Basics: 
Women’s tights and stockings and men’s underwear are 25 percent off at Macy’s. Also at Macy’s, kids Levi’s for $22 (regularly $38). Plus, get an extra 15 percent off if you have the weekend ad from the paper, or text “CPN” to Macy’s (that’s 62297).

Some retailers are offering storewide discounts:

Eddie Bauer is offering 50 percent off entire store. The Home Depot is taking 10 percent off appliances, and offering free delivery. JC Penney has a coupon online for $10 off all purchases of $25 or more. And you’ll find 30 to 50 percent off all clothing at Abercrombie & Fitch — just not on fragrances.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


National Retail Federation Ups its Forecast for Holiday Sales

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The National Retail Federation (NRF) raised its holiday forecast Thursday morning, expecting sales to increase 3.8 percent to compared with last year.

The initial forecast, which was made in October, called for a 2.8 percent gain.

"After strong sales reports in October and November, along with a successful Black Friday weekend, retailers are cautiously optimistic that this season will turn out better than initially expected, bringing added stability to our recovering economy at a time when America needs it most,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

The increase was also fueled by a recent NRF survey that found that the average American had only completed 46.5 percent of his or her holiday shopping as of the second week of December -- an indication that consumers will still be heading out to stores.

Yet, Shay warns that "a number of factors, including the debt crisis in Europe and continued political wrangling in Washington, could impact consumer spending this holiday season and into 2012."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Target Employee Collects 190K Names To Stop Thanksgiving Opening

Tim Boyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images(OMAHA, Neb.) -- Upset that he and others have to work starting at midnight on Thanksgiving, part-time Target employee Anthony Hardwick of Omaha, Nebraska started a "Target to Save Thanksgiving” petition to convince the retail discount giant not to open so early on Black Friday.

On Monday, a half-dozen bags of petitions claiming to have 190,000 signatures of Target workers, customers and others were delivered to corporate headquarters and are supposed to be sent to Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel.

Hardwick says his reasoning was simple: "If you're having your employees show up at 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, they're going to spend their day sleeping so they can get ready for the busiest shopping day of the year."  In other words, they'll miss most of the gathering with family and friends.

Walmart, Kmart Macy's, Gap, Kohl's, and Best Buy are all getting early jumps too on Black Friday sales too.

Bottom line? In this economy the other retailers are concerned about their bottom lines. A statement from Target's human resources department read, "The decision to open at midnight on Black Friday was not one we took lightly.  As that is the busiest shopping day of the year, it is imperative that we be competitive."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Retail Sales Show Largest Gain in 7 Months

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Retail sales increased 1.1 percent in September to $395.5 billion, the biggest gain in seven months -- thanks in large part to auto sales, the Commerce Department reported on Friday.

Motor vehicle and parts sales rose 3.9 percent, the largest gain since March 2010. Auto sales rose almost 10 percent in September to 13.1 million cars per year, the auto makers reported in early October, higher than what many analysts had expected.

Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist with Janney Capital Markets, told ABC News earlier that auto sales “are the single most consistent aspect of consumer spending and, for most people, the largest ticket item they’ll buy in an average five year period.”

Consumer spending overall comprises almost two thirds of the country’s GDP.

Many economists tune into September’s retail sales, which includes back to school shopping, for clues about the strength of the holiday shopping season.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


NRF Forecasts Holiday Sales Increase of 2.8%

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The National Retail Federation has announced some positive economic news on Thursday, forecasting a holiday sales increase of 2.8 percent, to $365.6 billion.

Although the numbers are still significantly lower than the 5.2-percent increase retailers experienced last year, the report remains encouraging.

“Retailers are optimistic that a combination of strong promotions and lean inventory levels will help them address consumer caution this holiday season,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “While businesses remain concerned over the viability of the economic recovery, there is no doubt that the retail industry is in a better position this year to handle consumer uncertainty than it was in 2008 and 2009.”

According to the NRF, retailers are also expected to hire an estimated 480,000-500,000 seasonal employees this year. This is actually quite comparable to the 495,000 employees hired last year.

Although there have been 14 consecutive months of retail sales growth, continued consumer uncertainty over the stock market, jobs and food and gas prices remain. These concerns are expected to affect the holiday season’s spending statistics.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio