My gosh, you “wudda thunk” that much of the holiday reporting for this more than likely record holiday season was done by Chicken Little and that the SKY HAS FALLEN! Let’s be clear about the holiday season of 2014 I not only will be above avg in growth (2 ½ -3½%) but it may be very good holiday season (4-5%) b/c there are many true tail winds and not so many true head winds. Here’s our 7 point platform to explain all.

  • Many early reports have reflected mostly the OFFICIAL SHOPPING DAYS of Xmas. Such reports as “Poor BlkFri results!” make season off to a “Slow Start” have captured headlines. Look, the ONLY comparisons anyone should are Nov of 2014 over Nov of 2013 and Dec 2014 over Dec 2013. That’s it! “The king is dead, long live the king.” The dragon of the OFFICIAL SHOPPING DAYS has been slain! This is attributed to many retailers offering “deals” days and days, and sometimes weeks, before So, in an attempt to get a JUMP on the competition for BlkFri, retailers effectively lessened the importance of the day! NEXTQUESTION!
  • America’s biggest generation the MILLENIALS are having their say-so. As these 18 to 34 yr olders spread their considerable shopping (78 M to 85 M strong) wings across America. They cast an unbelievable shadow or place a remarkably indelible wingprint on this holiday season. Their zeal for information, sharing information, a search for the best deal, etc, etc, etc, are transformative and undeniable realities. Xmas time 2014 will be recorded as the year that MILLENNIALS came of “holiday shopping age” and impact. Make no mistake though, MILLENIALS are extremely savvy, and will use their technology to get the most bang for their buck! (com)
  • The growth of ONLINE SHOPPING has been nothing short of spectacular. The barn doors have been blown off. For the 1st time ever, the TOP CHOICE of shoppers’ destination is online vs any single in store destination, whether it be discounters, department stores or what have you. Simply, online is the new king while the old kings (discounters, dept. stores, etc) need to be connected to the new king to survive because of the convenience of shopping from home, the opportunity to price check, and the ability to find numerous products that may no longer be in stock. ONLINE wins. ONLINE wins!
  • MOBILE DEVICE USAGE. For the 1st time ever there are shoppers (led by Millennials) who are shopping using their MOBILE DEVICES. That’s right; they are using them at home, at the laundry, in the store, etc. They are price shopping, product comparison shopping and occasionally purchasing with their mobile devices. Such terms as “showrooming” and “webrooming” have become part of our everyday retail speak! The popular internet payment site, Paypal, reported a 62% increase in global online mobile payment this BlkFri. (com). In 2013 alone, PayPal processed $27 B dollars in online mobile payment in 2013, and that is expected to be dwarfed by this yrs $$. Can you imagine what 2015 will be like? “The King is dead, long live the king.”
  • OMNI CHANNEL Increasingly, shoppers (especially Millennials) are NOT ONLY mobile shopping (and buying from everywhere) but they want to “pick their purchases up” at the store. Order wherever and “pick up” at store has become the omnichannelers, cry! Omnichanneling allows buyers to see the mdse immediately and to decide whether to return it or not or to determine whether there is currently a better deal in the store, online or elsewhere at pick up time.
  • GAS PRICES, oh yes, how nice it is to hear the sweet sound of dropping gas prices. Since Thxgvng 2012, the all grades, all shades price of gasoline have dropped from $349.7 per gal to $290.7 per gal (Diff is 59 ¢). In other words Americans from Thxgvng to Xmas will save (by comparison to 2012) $5.8 B (Based on 95 Trillion miles driven / 1 mo / 25MPG x 0.59 per gal). A fam of 4 with 2 drivers will save $51.99 for the holiday mo from Thxgvng to Xmas. That sounds like 2 or 3 nice gifts to us.
  • HOLIDAY AUTO SALES. The story is simple. Holiday revenue generated by New Car Dealers since the fini of the Grt Recession has grown much more quickly during the holiday season than ALL RETAILERS’ revenues in general. For example ALL RETAILERS’ revenues have grown 4%, 7.4%, 6.4%, 3.7% & 3.4% from 2009 to 2013, respectively. NEW CAR DEALERS’ (NCD) revenue have grown 8.0%, 18.8%, 11.5%, 1.9% & 9.0% respectively. This is THE year that auto retailers both in NOV & DEC became part of the holiday retailer’s madne$$. The old king of holiday retailing is dead long live the new king with the full inclusiveness of NEW CAR DEALERS. Congrats to all!



Finally, as we continue the “Shop till we Drop” time of year, it is interesting to note that if ShopperTrak info has it correct, 4 of the 5 biggest shopping days of the year are still in front of us.

 #1. Super Sat                               12/20

#2. Boxing Day, Return Day      12/26

#4. The Sat B-4 Super Sat         12/13

#5. Xmas Wk Mon                       12/22              


About bernacmd

For over 24 years, University of Detroit Mercy Marketing Professor Michael Bernacchi, Ph.D., J.D, has produced "uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE", a newsletter discussing current "marketing and advertising¹s bends, trends & ends." A well-know fixture in Detroit and national media, UDM's marketing guru has made several appearances on CNN's "Talk Back Live," the Voice of America worldwide radio network (VOA), ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, TV Guide, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, to name a few. At University of Detroit Mercy, he has taught courses in Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Communications, Research and Corporate Social Responsibility and Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Michael Bernacchi can be reached at 313-993-1116 or bernacmd@udmercy.edu. Please appropriately attribute the following for their work on uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE: Yen Ju Lee Robert Rouse Vidhyasagar Natarajan Eric Baumgardner & Ian Young
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