Consumers to Spend $500 Billion on Black Friday
Y&R consumer guru John Gerzema says spending should be quite healthy this holiday season. He expects "less mindless spending" on gadgets and more "mindful" spending on higher quality, luxury goods. It's quality over quantity this year, Gerzema predicts. Here's a few of his predictions.
- Brands like ETSY, offering alternatives in 'handmade Christmas' gifts including digital and artisinal choices, will be hot this season, as 65% of Americans are more interested in learning new skills since the recession, so they can do more themselves and rely less on others;
- Look for Zappos.com to win the online shoe retailing war with its celebrated customer service, while brands like Foot Locker decline (down 20% in usage). Even though Black Friday shoppers are deal-oriented, 72% of American shoppers are now willing to pay more for products/services offered by companies with solid customer service reputations;
- Premium brands expect a surge, i.e., Burberry up 15% in brand strength; Theory up 59% in usage and Whole Foods up 10% in usage;
- Mass market mainstays may find decline, i.e., Old Navy (down 15% in usage); Safeway (down 23% in usage), and Nestle (down 17% in usage);
- Expect Walmart to exceed expectations this Black Friday. Why? In part because 65% of American shoppers are now willing to pay a premium for companies that contribute to their local community -- the success of Wal-Mart's locally grown food initiative and independent brands is proof.