Online sales across retail channels are forecast to grow 9% this holiday season compared with 19% in 2007. TNS forecasts online sales to reach $42.5 billion in the fourth quarter up $3.5 billion from the prior year.
According to the TNS study, key retail sector holiday sales performance looks like this:
A new Mediamark (MRI) Omnibus study finds that 62.3 million adult consumers will begin holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, while thirty-six percent of holiday shoppers say they begin shopping between Thanksgiving and December 15th, and 26% start their shopping between December 16th and 23rd. Approximately 2% of holiday shoppers don't begin their holiday shopping until Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Start Of Holiday Shopping
% of Total Holiday Shoppers
# of Adults
After Thanksgiving to December 15th
December 16th to December 23rd
Christmas Eve/Christmas Day
Source: Mediamark, September 2008
Early shoppers combing retail shelves and online shopping sites before Black Friday:
Early Shopper Profile (Base: All Holiday Shoppers)
Composition of 35.1% of Holiday Shoppers who Begin Shopping prior to Thanksgiving
% More (Less) Likely than All Holiday Shoppers
HHI between $50-$100k
Purchased Any Toy
Purchased 10+ Toys
Gave personal gift "wish list" to Family/Friends
Gave "gift card" as a gift
Source: MRI's 2008 Omnibus Study, September 2008
Anne Marie Kelly, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Planning at MRI, concludes that "Black Friday may be the traditional start of the holiday shopping season but... its strength has diminished as millions of Americans begin their shopping before Thanksgiving... "
And, not to be forgotten, more consumers plan to celebrate Halloween this year (64.5% vs. 58.7%), with the average person spending $66.54 on the holiday, up from $64.82 one year ago. Total Halloween spending for 2008 is estimated to reach $5.77 billion, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) and BIG Research
This year, says the study:
People will celebrate Halloween in a variety of ways,
Phil Rist, Vice President of Strategy for BIGresearch, says "After months of bleak economic news, consumers are looking for a reason to let loose... and with Halloween falling on a Friday this year, consumers may plan to celebrate all weekend long."
For more on the NRF/BIGresearch Halloween study, please visit here.
For more information about the MRI Holiday Shopping Study, and a PDF file, please visit MediaMark here.
For more information from TNS about the forecast, please visit here.