Super-Sized Black Friday And Cyber Monday?

Every year I cover Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It's a chaotic whirlwind that still makes me feel very much like I am on the outside looking in. What amazes me most is that almost everyone knows or talks about these two days (Thanksgiving night and the Monday after).

I had to go to the mall to pick up a birthday gift for my cousin. Typically I can cruise in and out within a very short period of time. I was on the phone when I drove into the parking lot and noticed more cars but was half paying attention. As I walked inside it was like something hit me over the head. The holiday music blaring, walls to ceilings adorned with shiny giant-sized ornaments, scads of point of purchase displays, fragrance samplers spraying, reaching out and fake smiling, weird aggressive people at kiosks being was like a SWAT team eyeing me and everyone else with a human pulse. Even Santa was there in his center-of-the-mall residence with a line over an hour long. It sucked.

I was in line at the store buying my cousin's gifts and needed to wait behind three young girls. Maybe they were 13 or 14. They were cute and funny looking and sounded alike. I couldn't help but overhear their discussion of begging their parents to let them go to Black Friday. Two of the girls were insisting that they would find a way to convince their parents to go. Whereas the third kept saying, "Guys, we can just convince them to let us use their credit cards and get the deals online."



So my brief, hectic mall encounter gave me quite a slice-of-life outlook on this holiday season. The economy is said to be in a bad state, the housing market is still stuck at an all-time low, gasoline prices are high and still said to go up, there's a slew of ads dominated by political messages from those running for president, and we have the Writer's Guild strike. Even with all of this, parking spots were hard to find and people walked with bags in hand.

I checked out the stats to see what was really going on (or predicted to happen). Sure enough, it was an optimistic outlook. A recent Maritz Research Group poll found that 37% of respondents plan to shop on Black Friday, vs. last year's 34% who said they would. Those who plan to shop on Black Friday say they will spend $790 overall on their holiday purchases, compared to $637 for all shoppers combined.
Other findings include:

· The overall average spend this holiday season will be $637, down 10% from 2006.

· One-quarter of all respondents said they would spend less this year, with 50% citing "less money to spend this year" as the primary reason.

· Respondents with household incomes of $100,000 or more says the report, will shop at significantly higher levels (45%) on Black Friday than those in the lowest income group of less than $25,000 (30%).

The generational implications of these Black Friday shoppers looks like this:

· 59% of Gen Y respondents plan to shop

· 46% of Gen X will be there

· Only 23% of Boomers

· And 21% of the Silent Generation

The planned shopping locations are said to be:

Wal-Mart 63%
Target 57%
Best Buy 43%
K-Mart 28%
Sears 23%
Circuit City 21%
Kohl's 27%
Macy's 25%
Victoria's Secret 17%

Cyber Monday, the first Monday after Thanksgiving is said to be the day when all of us go back to work. Of course it assumes many of us do non-work-related activities that day as well. In fact, 58% of all online shopping is typically done in the workplace, but 88% of Cyber Monday shoppers made purchases from the office. Last year, Cyber Monday sales totaled $687 million, up from $484 million in 2005. [Source:}

Depending on the source, you'll find statistics that claim search engine queries increase by as much as 20%. Online ads are said to generate higher conversions due to strong call-to-action copy touting sales and deals.

So my dear readers, what are your predictions about the volume of sales in the brick-and-mortar versus click-and-mortar post-Thanksgiving hoopla? Well for this writer, I can't even prepare for cooking and entertaining, let alone shopping. So with that I give thanks we are busy and wish you the same. I'll be back to report how it all netted out. Happy Turkey Day to you and yours.

Next story loading loading..