Content about Christmas and holiday season

March 10, 2014

Where would the candy category be without seasonal merchandise?

Where would the candy category be without seasonal merchandise? Seasonal candy sales are a driving force in the category, with seasonal period sales accounting for 55% of the confectionary pie, according to the National Confectioners Association. Unique seasonal in-and-out items shaped and colored specifically for a season represent 22% of category sales. In 2014, NCA estimates that seasonal candy sales will account for $7 billion.

March 5, 2014

Weis Markets on Tuesday evening posted $686.4 million in fourth-quarter sales for the 13-week period ended Dec. 28, 2013, representing a decline of 1.1% as compared to the year-ago period.

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets on Tuesday evening posted $686.4 million in fourth-quarter sales for the 13-week period ended Dec. 28, 2013, representing a decline of 1.1% as compared to the year-ago period. Comparable store sales for the same period were down 3.5%. In 2013, the company's sales totaled $2.7 billion, down 0.3% compared to 2012. Comparable store sales for the 52-week period ending Dec. 28 declined 2.6%.

February 6, 2014

Costco on Thursday reported net sales of $8 billion for the four weeks ended Feb. 2, representing an increase of 6% percent from the similar four-week period last year.

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco on Thursday reported net sales of $8 billion for the four weeks ended Feb. 2, representing an increase of 6% percent from the similar four-week period last year. 

Comparable store sales across Costco's U.S. store base were up 5%.

For the 22 weeks ended Feb. 2, Costco reported net sales of $46.3 billion, representing a similar increase of 6% vs. the year-ago period. 

 

February 5, 2014

Walgreens posted January sales of $6.4 billion, an increase of 3.7% compared with the year-ago period.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday posted January sales of $6.4 billion, an increase of 3.7% compared with the year-ago period.

Total front-end sales increased 2.4% compared with the same month in fiscal 2013, while comparable store front-end sales increased 1.6%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 2.2% while basket size increased 3.8%.

December 27, 2013

U.S. retail sales reportedly rose 3.5% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, 2013 compared to the same period in the prior year.

PURCHASE, N.Y. — U.S. retail sales reportedly rose 3.5% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, 2013 compared to the same period in the prior year. According to data from MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, sales of holiday-related categories, such as clothing, electronics and luxury goods, rose 2.3%, after rising 0.7% in 2012.

December 18, 2013

As consumers are reaching the final days to squeeze in their holiday shopping, Target has announced some last-minute deals.

MINNEAPOLIS — As consumers are reaching the final days to squeeze in their holiday shopping, Target has announced some last-minute deals.

Guests using Cartwheel, the retailer's unique savings program, can take advantage of a one-day sale on Dec. 19 when around 40 great gift items — ranging from toys to cookware — will have special offers with discounts ranging from 10% to 60% off. Cartwheel has gained more than 1 million new users this season alone, putting the number of guests signed up for the program at 4 million.

December 16, 2013

More Americans now say they are loosening the purse strings in advance of the holiday season, and fewer say they are tightening their belts, according to a recent survey.

NEW YORK — More Americans now say they are loosening the purse strings in advance of the holiday season, and fewer say they are tightening their belts, according to a recent Citi national survey released Monday. Only 35% said they would be spending less than last year, reflecting the lowest level of holiday budget cutbacks since the financial crisis. As many as 63% of Americans plan to spend more (11%) or the same (52%) on holiday shopping this year.

December 12, 2013

Consumers spent a majority of last week recovering from “Black Weekend” holiday shopping.

CHICAGO — Consumers spent a majority of last week recovering from “Black Weekend” holiday shopping. ShopperTrak on Wednesday reported that for the week of Dec. 2 to Dec. 8, GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture and other products) brick-and-mortar retail sales decreased 2.9% compared to the same time last year. Last week’s retail shopper traffic decreased 21.6% compared to the same time period in 2012.

December 6, 2013

Holiday shopping got a big boost during Thanksgiving weekend, and most of the growth came from shopping on Thanksgiving itself rather than Black Friday, according to a new report.

ATLANTA — Holiday shopping got a big boost during Thanksgiving weekend, and most of the growth came from shopping on Thanksgiving itself rather than Black Friday, according to a new report.

First Data Corp., a payment processing company, released the SpendTrend report Friday, based on its tracking of same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debt, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks. The report found 9% growth over last year, compared with last year's 5.6% growth over 2011; by contrast, Black Friday spending growth was 3.4%.

November 27, 2013

U.S. retailers are approaching the holiday shopping season with prudence. According to a July 2013 survey, conducted by e-commerce technology provider Baynote, 38% of retailers project a year-over-year increase in online sales of just 11% to 20%.

SAN FRANCISCO – U.S. retailers are showing cautious optimism for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

November 26, 2013

Black Friday will just be an ordinary day for the 56% of Americans who plan to do no shopping at all, according to a Consumer Reports poll released Tuesday.

YONKERS, N.Y. — Black Friday will just be an ordinary day for the 56% of Americans who plan to do no shopping at all, according to a Consumer Reports poll released Tuesday. Conversely, 44% intend to do some shopping, up significantly from the 30% who said they shopped for gifts during last year's Black Friday weekend. 

Among the top reasons Americans gave for wanting no part of shopping during Black Friday weekend were:

November 26, 2013

Moody's on Tuesday cut against the grain with its holiday forecasts by suggesting pent-up demand will help give retailers a reason to celebrate Black Friday despite concerns of another government shutdown in January.

NEW YORK — Moody's on Tuesday cut against the grain with its holiday forecasts by suggesting pent-up demand will help give retailers a reason to celebrate Black Friday despite concerns of another government shutdown in January. It's not what shoppers say they're going to not do this year, but rather an extension of how shoppers will actually spend based on last season's behavior. 

November 26, 2013

Canada's Thanksgiving happened last month, and its major day of frenzied holiday shopping traditionally happens on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, but Black Friday shopping has been making waves up there in recent years as well.

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Canada's Thanksgiving happened last month, and its major day of frenzied holiday shopping traditionally happens on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, but Black Friday shopping has been making waves up there in recent years as well.

Target said it would be "pulling out all the stops" to offer customers at its Canadian stores deals for the holiday, opening stores at 7 a.m. and closing at 11 p.m., offering discounts on products like high-definition televisions, digital cameras, clothing and accessories, toys and kitchen appliances.

November 25, 2013

Many of Rite Aid's stores will open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, the retail pharmacy chain said Monday.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Many of Rite Aid's stores will open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, the retail pharmacy chain said Monday.

Rite Aid, which operates about 4,600 stores, said the move was designed to give shoppers a head start on Black Friday shopping, citing National Retail Federation figures indicating that up to 140 million shoppers will visit retailers nationwide during the weekend. Still, store hours will vary, and many pharmacies will close at 3 p.m., the company said.

November 22, 2013

Walmart is providing a number of special holiday deals to online and mobile shoppers as part of an early Cyber Monday promotion that begins Saturday, Nov. 30. In addition, Walmart's mobile app customers, Facebook fans and email subscribers will be among the first to receive invitations to an early shopping event on Sunday, Dec. 1, featuring up to 20 of the best Cyber Monday items, before they are widely available.

SAN BRUNO, Calif. — Walmart is providing a number of special holiday deals to online and mobile shoppers as part of an early Cyber Monday promotion that begins Saturday, Nov. 30. In addition, Walmart's mobile app customers, Facebook fans and email subscribers will be among the first to receive invitations to an early shopping event on Sunday, Dec. 1, featuring up to 20 of the best Cyber Monday items while supplies last, before they are widely available.

November 19, 2013

A big majority of consumers plan to use their phones during the holiday season to do more than just check prices, according to a new consumer survey.

CHICAGO — A big majority of consumers plan to use their phones during the holiday season to do more than just check prices, according to a new consumer survey.

Vibes, a Chicago-based mobile marketing technology company, commissioned research firm Equation Research to poll 1,000 adult smartphone owners; the survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%.

November 19, 2013

Shoppers are already looking past the holiday season and not liking what they see, according to a special survey conducted between Oct. 31 and Nov. 5 by IRI that was released Tuesday.

CHICAGO — Shoppers are already looking past the holiday season and not liking what they see, according to a special survey conducted between Oct. 31 and Nov. 5 by IRI that was released Tuesday. While consumers are hoping for the best, they're bracing for the worst when it comes to the possibility of another government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis in early 2014. 

November 5, 2013

Negative experiences in one shopping channel can influence consumers' perceptions of other channels too, according to a new survey.

CHELMSFORD, Mass. — Negative experiences in one shopping channel can influence consumers' perceptions of other channels too, according to a new survey.

The survey, "Holiday 2013: Top Trends to Watch," commissioned by Kronos and conducted online by Harris Interactive, found that 68% of Americans report that a negative experience in one channel can influence how they perceive physical stores, online, mobile, phone centers and catalogs. The survey was conducted from Sept. 26-30 among 2,003 adults.

November 4, 2013

Underwhelming fall sales and continued economic and federal budgetary concerns have U.S. retailers in a “wait and see” mode this holiday season, according to a recent BDO USA survey released Monday.

CHICAGO — Underwhelming fall sales and continued economic and federal budgetary concerns have U.S. retailers in a “wait and see” mode this holiday season, according to a recent BDO USA survey released Monday. 

November 1, 2013

Almost 9-in-10 (88%) consumers will shop in stores this holiday season, compared to 75% who will shop online and 16% who will shop via mobile device.

San Francisco —  Almost 9-in-10 (88%) consumers will shop in stores this holiday season, compared to 75% who will shop online and 16% who will shop via mobile device. A new Harris Interactive survey co-sponsored by Aerohive Networks and Euclid also shows that physical retailers still need to address consumer concerns regarding in-store holiday shopping.

Specifically, consumers are most concerned about crowds (42%), lines (29%), and out-of-stock items (15%) affecting their in-store holiday shopping this year.

October 18, 2013

Consumers are holiday shopping sooner and spending more this year due to a late Thanksgiving and shorter holiday shopping season, according to a new survey by American Express.

NEW YORK — Consumers are holiday shopping sooner and spending more this year due to a late Thanksgiving and shorter holiday shopping season, according to a new survey by American Express.

The latest American Express Spending and Saving Tracker indicates that shoppers will spend $1,260 this year — up $400 from last year — and 27% are already looking for deals and plan to finish before Dec. 1, from 24% last year. Thirty-seven percent expect to finish shopping the week before Christmas, compared with 33% last year.

October 18, 2013

One of the casualties associated with the recent government shutdown and game of chicken that legislators played with the nation's debt ceiling is consumer confidence. And this will have significant ramifications coming into the fourth quarter holiday season, especially as the debate over government spending and the debt ceiling crisis has not been resolved but only delayed until January.

Holding the holiday season hostage means Washington has lost big points with big retail, and IRI measured the impact. Reminiscent of recession shopping behaviors, almost two-in-three consumers are cutting back on non-essential spending; half are again gravitating toward private label or other value propositions and two in five are beginning to scour online resources in search of coupons and deals.

One of the casualties associated with the recent government shutdown and game of chicken that legislators played with the nation's debt ceiling is consumer confidence. And this will have significant ramifications coming into the fourth quarter holiday season, especially as the debate over government spending and the debt ceiling crisis has not been resolved but only delayed until January. 

October 16, 2013

Consumers will take a conservative approach to spending this holiday season. According to NRF’s holiday consumer spending survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average holiday shopper will spend $737.95 on gifts, decor, greeting cards and more, 2% less than the $752.24 they actually spent last year. Despite this reduction in individual holiday budgets, NRF is forecasting holiday sales will increase 3.9% to $602.1 billion.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Consumers will take a conservative approach to spending this holiday season. According to NRF’s holiday consumer spending survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average holiday shopper will spend $737.95 on gifts, decor, greeting cards and more, 2% less than the $752.24 they actually spent last year. Despite this reduction in individual holiday budgets, NRF is forecasting holiday sales will increase 3.9% to $602.1 billion.

October 15, 2013

Kmart will kick off the holiday shopping season by launching a new lease-to-own program in time for Black Friday, the massmerchandise retailer said Tuesday.

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kmart will kick off the holiday shopping season by launching a new lease-to-own program in time for Black Friday, the massmerchandise retailer said Tuesday.

Kmart said it would launch the program through Whynot Leasing and make it available nationwide starting on Nov. 22. Sears, also part of parent company Sears Holdings, also is launching the program, making it available for more than 95 million items via Sears Marketplace, including electronics, home goods, jewelry and tools, as well as major brands and boutique items.

October 7, 2013

Shoppers in the United States plan on spending an average of $646 on gifts this holiday season, representing an 11% increase over the $582 they planned to spend, on average, in 2012, according to Accenture’s annual holiday shopping survey. The forecast uptick is more optimistic than other holiday surveys released to date.

Shoppers in the United States plan on spending an average of $646 on gifts this holiday season, representing an 11% increase over the $582 they planned to spend, on average, in 2012, according to Accenture’s annual holiday shopping survey. The forecast uptick is more optimistic than other holiday surveys released to date.