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The New York Times
Link to article:
A Holiday Shopping Stampede, but Maybe no Economic Jolt
This year the holiday shopping started early and strong, and petty things like a family holiday be damned. Black Friday started before the plates were even picked up from the Thanksgiving table, and we have all seen the crowds and mayhem at the nation's malls and big box retailers. But is it all a bunch of sound and fury signifying almost nothing when it comes to the bottom line for 2012 holiday retail?
Excerpt: "For now, the nation’s retailers are doing their best to infuse the holidays with the spirit of consuming. 'Door-busting' bargains began on Thanksgiving Day instead of on Black Friday, as had been the custom. Online discounts started weeks ago, and Cyber Monday, formerly a one-day event, is morphing into a consumption extravaganza unbound by space or time.
'We’re keeping the Cyber Monday party going all week long,' Amazon.com said on its site on Thursday afternoon. Walmart declared that its site was 'the only place to go' for Cyber Week. 'Shop now while supplies last,' it said. And Target offered rapture: 'Get online-only deals all week. Oh joy!'
Over all, the efforts have yielded a mixed harvest. Some reports suggest that the early shopping has been robust, if not extraordinary. A survey for the National Retail Federation found that 247 million people did some shopping in the four days starting on Thanksgiving, up 9.2 percent from last year. Total spending reached $59.1 billion, up nearly 13 percent.
But a report on Thursday showed that overall sales at 16 retailers — including chains like Macy’s, Nordstrom, Kohl’s and Target — increased only 1.6 percent in November for stores open at least a year. Those figures included early holiday sales."