Archive

Posts Tagged ‘pam goodfellow’

“Save-not-Squander” + More on The Changing American Consumer

March 30, 2012 1 comment

I co-hosted the March BIG Call with a very special guest, Dr. Marianne Bickle, Chair and Director for the Center for Retailing, University of South Carolina. Armed with BIGinsight™ data, Marianne authored the new book, The Changing American Consumer (more on that in a second).

For the first half of the call, I presented new insight from our March Monthly Consumer Survey, which included:
– A rise in Consumer Confidence for the fifth consecutive month
– Fizzling spending with Practicality, Focus on Needs heating up
– The “Save-not-Squander” financial mantra
The Pain at the Pump predicament
– A BIG Forward Look at 90 day spending plans

For the second half of the Call, Marianne presented NEW findings on the Fast Food industry (which has been a hot topic lately…see also here, here, and here). Using our BIG data, Marianne analyzed consumer trends in Fast Food – by income, census region, and gender – and brought everything full circle with a discussion on The Changing American Consumer.

To listen to the recorded webinar, click here.

 

For more information on this data, please contact BIGinsight™.

Source: BIGinsight™ Monthly Consumer Survey – MAR-12 (N = 9242, 3/6 – 3/13/12)

© 2012, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.

Generation Gap: Who’s Excited about the Holiday Season?

December 15, 2011 1 comment

With the holiday season in full swing and Christmas just days away, it’s hard not to get excited about this time of year…or is it? Findings from our American Pulse™ survey indicate that this really depends on what generation you belong to:

Silent (born 1945 or earlier)
Boomers (born 1946 – 1964)
Gen X (born 1965 – 1982)
Gen Y (born 1983 – 1993)

Overall, the majority of consumers (50.5%) say they get very or somewhat excited for the holiday season this year, while one in four (24.5%) aren’t at all or aren’t very excited about the prospect of untangling lights, fighting crowds at malls, and hearing I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas on regular rotation on their favorite radio station [blech].

While no particular generation says “Bah Humbug” to the holidays, it’s evident that the older generations definitely find less to get excited about. Fewer than two in five (38.2%) of those in the Silent generation get somewhat or very excited as the holiday season rolls around, just slightly more Boomers (39.5%) say the same. The excitement level of Gen X-ers (53.4%) indexes higher than average, while nearly three in four (72.7%) Gen Y youngsters get downright twitterpated at the thought of candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup (OK, maybe that’s just Buddy the Elf).

About one in three of those in the Silent (31.2%) and Boomer (31.4%) generations say they just aren’t at all or aren’t very excited for the holiday season this year. Fewer Gen X-ers (23.5%) feel this way, while just one in ten of those in Gen Y (10.4%) say the same.

Three out of five (59.7%) holiday celebrants say they most look forward to spending time with family and friends during the season; about three in ten (29.6%) are actually dreading this time of year because money is tight. Just 10.6% is most looking forward to finding the perfect gift for everyone on their lists.*

While spending time with family and friends is the top priority for each generation, more Silents (70.4%) and – surprise! – Gen Y-ers (64.2%) are prone to indicate this. One in three of those in the Boomer (35.1%) and Gen X (32.9%) generations say aren’t looking forward to the holidays due to money concerns; Silents (24.6%) and Gen Y-ers (20.0%) are much less likely to indicate that money is putting a Grinch wrench in their holiday plans.

Finally, while I still refuse to disclose my age, I will admit that I [thankfully] do belong in a generation that tends to look forward to shopping during the holiday season. Those in the Gen X (13.4%) and Gen Y (15.8%) groups are more likely to indicate that they most look forward to finding the perfect holiday gifts, compared to Silents (5.0%) and Boomers (6.6%).

For more information on this data, please contact BIGinsight™.

* For this question, consumers were asked to select one of the following phrases that best describes them: “I am looking forward to finding the perfect gifts for everyone on my list,” “I am looking forward to spending time with family and friends,” and “I am dreading the holiday season because money is tight.”

Source: American Pulse™ Survey, OCT-11 #2

© 2011, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.

Top Holiday Trends + More

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Our latest BIG Call featured a very special guest speaker: Ellen Davis, VP at the National Retail Federation. BIG has been working with the NRF for nearly ten years to bring retailers, marketers, CPGs, and the media the latest insights on the Holiday season, straight from consumers.

For this month’s Call, Ellen highlighted four of her Top Ten Trends for Holiday 2011:

1.       Slow and Steady Wins the Race
While many current consumer sentiments are eerily similar to what we experienced in 2008, retailers and shoppers have been adjusting to the uncertain environment, which is good news. But there’s no doubt that continued consumer uncertainty and high unemployment is putting a damper on spending.

3.       …And?
Today’s consumer has high expectations – they already assume retailers will be offering low prices or strong promotions, and they want to know what they’re going to get on top of that. This “price plus” shopping mentality is all part of the value equation, which incorporates price with other elements like quality, convenience and service.

7.    This Year’s Theme: “Everyday Appropriate”
In 2008 and 2009, both years when holiday sales saw declines from the year before, shoppers were all about practical, necessity gift purchases. This year, there seems to be a little bit of wiggle room on the wish list. 

8.    The Night Owl Catches the Sales on Black Friday
With Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Target opening their doors at midnight Thanksgiving night, you can be sure that more people will be staying up to go shopping rather than setting their alarms to wake up before the sun.

In addition to Ellen’s Holiday insights, we reviewed the latest data from the Consumer Intentions & Actions® Survey on Consumer Confidence, Employment Outlook, Practicality in Purchasing, Personal Finance, as well as the 90 Day Outlook.

To listen to the recorded webinar, click here.

© 2011, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.

BIG on the Street: Black Friday, Part II

November 29, 2011 Leave a comment

So I’ve mentioned that I continued Black Friday tradition this year by shopping with my best friend and her mother. Now, her mother didn’t join us for our Target excursion; instead, she headed to the mall to stake out Bath & Body Works (B&BW), also opening at midnight. Our B&BW target was the annual VIP bag, a purchase-with-purchase special for the day that included a variety of fun, I-don’t-really-need-these type of items (which *ahem* were a bit leaner compared to the 2010 bag and most noticeably did not include last year’s coupon for $10 off a $10 purchase).

However like moths drawn to a flame, we Black Friday shoppers needed this “deal.” And, given the line at Target, we didn’t think we’d make it over to the mall in a sufficient amount of time. My friend’s mother was sent to B&BW with instructions to grab some of their $10 three wick candles (enough to use a $10 off $30 coupon and qualify for the VIP bag). Much to our surprise though, by the time we made it out of Target (12:25pm) and over to the mall, my friend’s mother was still in line at B&BW! Yes, that’s right, our shopping trip to Target was quicker than B&BW.

Thus concluded our destination Black Friday shopping until 5am, when Toys R Us would tempt us my friend back with a new round of deals. To be perfectly honest, I find it hard to recall all of the details of this four hour timespan; perhaps this is where a few hours of pre-shopping sleep would have been beneficial. I actually had to check my receipts to see where I was and what I bought (just slightly reminiscent of The Hangover­). During this time, we stopped at Macy’s (used $10 off $25 and $20 off $50 coupons for a couple of gifts). At 2:30am, I purchased a crystal gingerbread man ornament with a $10 off $10 coupon at Elder-Beerman. (You can categorize that purchase under “Strange Items One Buys in the Wee Hours of the Morning on Zero Sleep”).

Hungry for deals? At the food court. (click to enlarge)

At some point during this time period, we did refuel at the food court, which was crowded with people. I think that this was one of the biggest differences I noticed this year compared to past. Traditionally, I think when you head over to the mall at – say – 4am on Black Friday, you don’t begin to feel really hungry until 7 or 8am, after you’ve hit your destinations. This year, I felt that a lot of people (i.e. teenagers, other youngsters, non-serious Black Friday shoppers, window shoppers, and other “roadblocks”) went to the mall to hang out for an hour or two – and to grab a bite to eat. So the mall was crowded, but the stores within the mall were manageable – somewhat like busy weekend traffic. When I explored Gap, associates were straightening clothing stacks; we saw the same scene at The Children’s Place, American Eagle, and a few other stores that opened extremely early. I didn’t even have to wait in line at Elder-Beerman to buy my crystal gingerbread man – which helped to make this a completely impulsive purchase.

Scene at the mall, about 3am. (click to enlarge)

The “sad” part about shopping so early on Black Friday is that, while we scored some great deals at Toys R Us, Target, and B&BW, we missed the 5am and 6am openings of several specialty stores (including my personal favorite, The Limited). And by 4am, I was so desperate for caffeine that I waited in line for Starbucks to raise their gate. At 5am, we were nearly cooked. Our shopping excursion ended with a stop back at Toys R Us (where the checkout line was infinitely shorter than during their 9pm opening) as well as Walmart, which was empty (not merchandise-wise, but people-wise). At Walmart, not only did my friend find the items that she was after, but we walked right up to the checkout. I was shocked to see that they were even polishing the floor of the optical center. (The lesson here: if you aren’t in need of a doorbuster, wait for the initial crowd to dissipate).

In the past, it’s been tradition for us to enjoy a 9am lunch post-Black Friday shopping and call it a day. This year, though, we were so tired after our last stop that we couldn’t even fathom making it until 9am. Maybe next year!

I’d like to conclude this post with the following thoughts on this year’s Black Friday shopping experience:

The Buddy System Rules: Late Thanksgiving openings meant that a lot of shoppers (including yours truly) were pulling all-nighters to procure their deals. Shopping with a group kept us motivated, prevented us from falling asleep in line (and behind the wheel), and increased gift finding/buying efficiency.

-  Browsers Need Not Apply: If your goal for Black Friday is to look around and people-watch, perhaps you should find some better entertainment and roam the mall on another day. Taking up valuable parking spaces, clogging aisles, and usurping benches really only irritates Black Friday shopping pros.

-  Know Your Sales: Brush up on sales, deals, and offerings before you head to the store and have your non-expired coupons in hand (and not buried in the bottom of your pocket or purse) at the checkout. Those behind you in line will be grateful for your efficiency.

-  Night Owls Got the Doorbusters, but Early Birds Still Found Worms: It was truly physically impossible for our group to begin at 9pm on Thanksgiving and shop past 6am the next morning. Unless you were looking for a doorbuster at Target, Walmart, Toys R Us, or one of the other stores opening up on Thanksgiving, beginning at 5/6am on Black Friday still afforded you a lot of deals, a few hours of sleep, and un-ransacked merchandise at those specialty stores that didn’t herald a midnight opening.

-  Remember the Spirit of the Season: Getting up early or staying up all night makes it easy to get a case of the cranky-pants. Dial down the tension and recall that [most] shoppers are in the stores to GIVE this season. If you have to fight with a fellow shopper to save few bucks on that perfect present, that present really isn’t perfect, is it?

Remember, for more Black Friday insights, you can head over to the National Retail Federation’s Holiday Headquarters.

©2011, Prosper®

BIG on the Street: Black Friday, Part I

November 28, 2011 3 comments

The highlight of my Black Friday? The 30 second checkout at Target…but more on that in a bit.

Black Friday shopping is tradition for my best friend, her mother, and me. We’ve woken up before the crack of dawn for nearly twenty years since before we could drive, but this was the first year we headed out on Thanksgiving night. The 9pm specials at Toys R Us were just too good for my friend (a mother of two) to pass up.

Black Friday Scene

Our 9pm arrival at Toys R Us, camera crews waiting. (click to enlarge)

In order to keep the image of the perfect Thanksgiving intact for her young children, we started out after they were tucked in for bed. We arrived at Toys R Us (TRU) shortly before they opened, as three local TV crews readied themselves to record the madness. Our destination TRU is located in a shopping center with five other big box stores, still closed for the night. The line of shoppers stretched across the entire length of the shopping center, and we were at the very end of that line.

Toys R Us Line

We waited for an hour outside in this line. (click to enlarge)

It was nearly 10pm before we were admitted to the store. With no toys on my shopping list this year, it was my job to help my friend hunt down her deals (which seemed to be scattered randomly throughout the store). I left my friend to jump in line while she waited for a sales associate (and a ladder) to pull down the last of a doorbuster toy still in its shipping box WAY at the top of the shelving. Yes, the reasoning escaped me as to why said toy was in stock, yet not on the shelves…I was further confused when the store manager decided to nix the ladder idea and tell my friend she was out of luck. Once the manager was out of view, my friend scaled the shelving…while this action was a bit extreme – and dangerous – better customer service would have made this a non-issue.

Target Line

The line for the midnight opening at Target. (click to enlarge)

After standing in line for more than an hour, we finally made it out of TRU. As someone not buying for children, this wasn’t the best start to my Black Friday. But things picked up as we walked over to Target, located next door to the shopping center. It took us about 10 minutes of walking before we reached the end of the line at 11:15pm, which stretched across the store and down the end of the parking lot. A mutual friend met us here, and we waited for midnight to strike and Target to open.

Entrepreneurial spirit? Pizza for sale in the Target line. (click to enlarge)

For the obvious reason, we were not the first group of shoppers in our Target store. On my list were some cheap DVDs and a doorbuster gift; my expectations for finding this doorbuster were not high, knowing how far back in line we were.  As we shuffled closer to the store, the excitement in the crowd grew. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood, quite a contrast from the fist fights, brawls, and pepper spray incidents I later read about. As the first-in-lines came out with their deals, they waived to a cheering crowd. It was great.

Target Instore

30 second wait in the Target line. (click to enlarge)

Surprisingly, the wait was quick, and we made in into the store at about 12:15am, splitting up and agreeing to meet at the checkout line. I found my DVDs and my gift – still in stock – and headed to the checkout at the same time as my friend. The “line” was surprisingly short; in past years, lines have woven throughout the store, so it’s likely that extended hours spread the volume of shoppers out a bit. No joke, we were out of the store at 12:25am. Quickest. Target. Trip. Ever.

As we headed over to the mall, we received a call from our mutual friend…we had left her in our dust back at Target. Not a seasoned Black Friday shopper, she told us that she was still looking around in the store and was wondering where we were. She obviously wasn’t living by our Black Friday motto: Grab, Buy, Exchange Later.

Black Friday adventures continue on Tuesday, so stay tuned. And for more Black Friday insights, collected over the weekend by BIG, head over to the National Retail Federation’s Holiday Headquarters.

©2011, Prosper®

BIG Call – October 2011

October 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Slides from the October BIG Call are now available!

John Mariotti was our special guest speaker this month. You can view his take on the latest data, including Confidence, Practicality, Personal Finances, the 90 Day Outlook, and Holiday 2011 Spending, by clicking through the slide show below.

To listen to the recorded webinar, click here.

© 2011, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,587 other followers

%d bloggers like this: