The results are in: The kickoff to the holiday season has retailers beaming – and not because of the holidays themselves.
The National Retailer Federation (NRF) announced that the sales over the past long weekend (Black Friday and Cyber Monday) surpassed all expectations. Since the holiday season can account for anywhere between to 20 to 40% of annual sales, it’s important to keep the momentum going. In order to finish the year strong, inventory will have to be watched carefully and the the discounts must continue.
It’s not only the sales that had consumers running to, well, their laptops, more than the stores. Technology has never been more advanced or exciting, unemployment in the US is at a low 4.4%, and surprisingly good weather also contributed to consumer confidence.
“The climate was right, literally and figuratively, for consumers to tackle their holiday shopping lists online and in stores,” NRF Chief Executive Matthew Shay said on a media call.
The NRF also said that the investment in technologies by retailers, that is, making merchandise browsing and purchasing so widespread has really paid off. There were 58 million shoppers Internet shoppers over the long weekend, while over 64 million spent in store and online, while 51 million spent in store only. Most of the shoppers were millennials over the long weekend, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The disparity between 51 and 58 million shoppers doesn’t seem much, but considering the lack of parking, long lines and the increasing presence of technology in our lives, it’s not hard to imagine that online shopping will soon overtake in store visits, easily.
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