By Robin Fiedler
Even though the big discounters hold a negative reputation due to reports of globalization and labor exploitation, they still maintain the top position in consumers' preferences as the place to shop. Black Friday sales, and holiday sales overall, continue to cement their position as the top retailers.
The 90s showed that holiday shopping shifted from the large shopping malls to the stand-alone discount stores and online shopping. The International Council of Shopping Centers' sales statistics indicates that shopping malls' holiday sales fell from about 32% to about 29% of their annual sales between 1992 and 2007.
The winners in top sales are the superstore discounters. The top US retailers in 2007 in sales were Wal*mart at #1, then Home Depot and Kroger. Target, Costco and Walgreens were next in order, according to Feeling the Squeeze: Global Powers of Retailing 2009.
But is the store with most sales automatically the best place to shop? As far as favorite online retailers in Sept 2009, consumers put Amazon.com at #1, with Wal*mart and eBay as 2nd and 3rd respectively. Best Buy, Target and JCPenney came next in order as online favorites, reported by Neteeza's "Favorite 50" list. JCPenney as a department store found in shopping malls seems to still be succeeding in maintaining consumer loyalty.
Which retailers will hold on to their standings during the 2009 Black Friday clash for top retailer and overall holiday sales is still to be determined. Dr. Anthony L. Liuzzo, Professor of Business and Economics and Director of the MBA Program at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, predicts the winners and losers for 2009 holiday sales. Logically, he confirms that the discounters will remain the top performers in a difficult economy, while department stores will suffer. However, his top 3 winners are Aéropostale, Big Lots, and Buckle. At the bottom, he forecasts Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap Brands (Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic), and Neiman Marcus as the losers.
Yet as the retailers seek the best strategies to attract shoppers and ring up sales, consumers admit to mission-based shopping using coupons. According to a NRF Retail Advertising and Marketing Association 2008 survey, Kathy Grannis claims, "44.6 percent of consumers said coupons were a factor in determining where to shop this year, up from 35.2 percent last year." And so, whether shopping online or offline, shoppers' hunt for coupons will be a high priority in where they spend their dollars. Scissors anyone?
"Favorite 50." Neteeza. Sept. 2009. NRF: Stores. http://www.stores.org/pdf/09FAV50chart.pdf
Feeling the Squeeze: Global Powers of Retailing 2009. NRF: Stores Media. January 2009. http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores_globalpowers0109/
Grannis, Kathy. "Emotional Ads Resonate With Shoppers This Holiday Season, According to RAMA Survey." National Retail Federation. 17 Dec. 2008. http://www.nrf.com/modules.php?name=News&op=viewlive&sp_id=619
Liuzzo, Anthony L. "Holiday Retail Sales Forecast: 2009." Wilkes University. 3 Aug. 2009. http://www.wilkes.edu/Include/Latest_News/Holiday%20_Retail_Sales_Forecast%20_2009.pdf
Niemira, Michael. "Media Watch. Holiday Guide: 2008" International Council of Shopping Centers. 2008. http://holiday.icsc.org/2008/WatchMedia.pdf
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