Unity Marketing plans to launch a new study of the gifting market early in 2012 to give marketers the facts and figures
The Christmas gift shopping season is nearly over, but it seems like the pundits and industry watchers haven't got a clue about what the gift giving consumers are really up to. Take Black Friday sales for example. While some industry experts gleefully put sales on this much-examined retail day several percentage points ahead of last year, others quickly pointed out that any increase in revenues was likely due to the practices of opening store doors as early as Thanksgiving night, effectively tacking another six or eight hours of sales time onto Black Friday.
And just yesterday, the National Retail Federation (NRF) revised its forecast upward from their previously bullish pre-Thanksgiving estimates. But on the same day, the New York Times featured a story that said stores sales are lagging after Thanksgiving. As a result, they are taking drastic steps, including deep discounts, staying open late, and extending specials, to entice shoppers into the stores before Christmas.
Not only that, the New York Times article also reports that troubled retailers plan to manipulate the way they account for holiday gift sales this year to get a more favorable report from the actual year-over-year comparables. In other words, if the real data doesn't tell the story they want to tell their shareholders, they are going to 'cook the books' in order to do so.