Mintel's senior retail and apparel analyst comments ahead of Black Friday

  Mintel's senior retail and apparel analyst comments ahead of Black Friday

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Nov. 19, 2013

CHICAGO, Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday,
Mintel's senior retail and apparel analyst Ali Lipson examines the impact for
US retailers this holiday season.


"As another holiday season is upon us, retailers are aiming to spread the
cheer by opening stores on Thanksgiving Day and offering 'sneak peeks' of
deals in advance of Black Friday. So, do consumers really want this? Well – it
depends on who you ask. While some are excited about the possibility of
shopping early (particularly as there are fewer days between Thanksgiving and
Christmas this year), others feel that Thanksgiving is about tradition and
family, a holiday that retailers should respect.

"Despite the varying opinions on the issue, major retailers including Target,
Kohl's, JCPenney, Macy's, Best Buy, Walmart, Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy
are all planning to be open (at least some hours) on Thanksgiving. These
retailers hope to get an edge over competition by drawing shoppers in before
Black Friday. Some are even taking it a step further – Toys R Us has announced
that it will offer special discounts beginning on Wednesday, November 27^th. has a 'Countdown to Black Friday Deals Week' section on its site,
offering different deals leading up to Black Friday beginning in mid-November.
Barnes & Noble plans to get even further ahead by hosting 'Discovery Friday'
on November, a week in advance of Black Friday. Stores will feature special
events, promotions and assistance in choosing the perfect gifts.

"The 'holiday creep' is appearing among many retailers; however Hanukkah is
early this year, beginning on Thanksgiving Day while there are six fewer days
between Thanksgiving and Christmas compared to 2012, resulting in less
shopping time. Consumer confidence is up which is likely to bode well for
retailers this holiday season. However, consumers are savvier than ever when
it comes to looking for deals. Access to smartphones and tablets has become
the norm, and shoppers are using these devices not only for shopping, but for
finding store locations, comparing prices, researching products and reading
reviews. It is critical for retailers to consider how consumers are
interacting with their mobile devices and how to get their attention through

"While retailers are pushing the early shopping with pre-Black Friday deals
(in stores and online) and store hours on Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday and the
following weeks in December are also important. As evidenced last year, many
retailers continue to offer new and potentially better or more compelling
offers throughout the season – encouraging incentives to continue shopping as
well as and providing benefits for those who prefer to shop later.

"There will be no shortage of special deals and promotions this year; however
there doesn't seem to be one 'hot' item of the season. Electronics are likely
to remain popular gifts, particularly with the introduction of the new iPad
Air, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Gift cards are also likely to be popular
gifts, which can benefit retailers as it will encourage post-holiday shopping
as consumers visit stores/websites to redeem gift cards.

"A major announcement from Amazon indicates that the company has partnered
with the US Postal Service to offer Sunday delivery in select markets, just in
time for the holiday season. This gives them an even greater competitive edge
over others, and other retailers need to ensure that shipping rates are low or
free and that delivery times are minimal.

"Regardless of how much consumers are spending or what items are on their
'most wanted' lists, there will be no shortage of promotions and incentives
this season, creating a great deal of choice for today's consumers."

About Mintel
Mintel is a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media
intelligence. For more than 40 years, Mintel has provided insight into key
worldwide trends, offering exclusive data and analysis that directly impacts
client success. With offices in Chicago, New York, London, Sydney, Shanghai,
Tokyo, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Sao Paulo, Mintel has forged a unique
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Contact: Jennifer Clement (formerly Ballard), Mintel Group, 312-628-7946,
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