If consumer optimism has reached an all-time high over the past four years period, you can only imagine that retailers have high hope for this year’s Black Friday sales. According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. consumers are expected to spend $586.1 billion this year.
Experian released recently its t Marketing Services’ Consumer Expectation Index (CEI) analysis of the first half of 2012, which shows that consumer optimism has reached an all-time high over the last four years, beating 2008 by 8 index points. CEI also predicted a strong seasonal performance for retailers.
The statistics are backed by holiday marketing trends, particularly concerning Black Friday. Last year, many retailers bended the unwritten rule that prohibits people from working until the clock strikes 12 a.m. after Thanksgiving. The move triggered controversy, complaints, pros and cons. But in the end, it was a success, bringing in larger profits for those who dared.
This year, retailers expect even more. On one hand, because consumers are more willing to spend, and on the other hand, because most of them will be opened on Thanksgiving day. Walmart, Sears and Toys “R” Us will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, while Target will wait till 9 p.m., with bonus doorbuster specials starting at 4 a.m. Oddly enough, Best Buy will continue to wait till midnight to open its doors – perhaps one of the last retailers to still respect traditions?
For those of you who don’t want to face the crowds for a deal, digital stores are open 24/7. For people on the go, fans of smart technologies, there are already apps that allow shopping with a click. We will be following up with the best sites of the year, and our recommended Black Friday shopping list.