On Holiday, Friends and Family Matter More Than Shopping

In the end, experiences trump possession of material goods in prime gifting period.

December 19, 2014

The home stretch of the holiday season is here. To project shopper habits the rest of the way – and suggest what could hold true for holiday season 2015 – let’s examine what happened during this latest keystone Thanksgiving weekend, which included Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Findings of our exclusive SupermarketGuru Quick Poll show that for all the dollars spent, keyboards clicked, and stores visited, U.S. adults overwhelmingly did not lose the meaning of holiday – to spend time and build new memories with family and friends.

Our study reveals that:

  • Despite added store hours and purchase incentives on Thanksgiving Day, just 6.1% of adult respondents went to a store and just 10.2% shopped online that day. Dinner was their priority instead: 44.9% were guests and 42.9% were hosts on Thanksgiving.
  • Since 83.7% of respondents did not work on Black Friday, they were freer to shop. On that specific day, 18.6% went to a store and 24.7% made purchases online.
  • Although Cyber Monday was a regular workday, 33.7% of respondents managed to shop online that day.
  • The three main reasons for shopping on any of these days were: “to get deals or a specific deal” (32.6%), “it’s efficient” (22.1%), and “to get an early jump on gift purchases” (14.7%). Multiple responses were allowed on this question.
  • Those who didn’t shop at all on these days expressed: “no desire to fight crowds” (62.8%), “preferred to spend time with family and friends” (57.5%), and “deals aren’t as great as they seem” (34.0%). Multiple responses were allowed on this question too.

It appears that most consumers draw a line on shopping – and remain wary of being manipulated by marketing that lacks credibility with lukewarm deals. In our view at The Lempert Report, retailers thinking of opening this Christmas or perhaps next Easter or holiday season should consider the risk of repercussions by staffs and their families, and their own shopper base as well.

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