Consumer and retail news: 10 things you need to know today
Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day in the US. Here, you'll find all the best Cyber Monday deals for tech products like gadgets, computers, smartphones, and more.
Black Friday shopping is shifting from hours spent in line to more time online. Sales at retail stores on Black Friday fell to $10.4 billion this year, down from $11.6 billion in 2014, according to preliminary figures from research firm ShopperTrak.
Increasingly, consumers are opting to do Black Friday from the comfort of their their phones, tablets and PCs. Online sales for Black Friday were up 21.5% over last year, according to IBM. Between Black Friday and Thanksgiving, online shoppers spent about $4.5 billion, with 60% - $2.72 billion- spent on Black Friday itself.
Wearables are one of the hottest gift categories this Christmas. That's one reason why Barclays analysts have become more bullish on Fitbit. Fitbit shares rallied by as much as 4% in pre-market trading on Monday. Since the IPO in June, they have fallen about 3%.
As the industry increasingly moves to e-commerce, is the impulse buy dead? Ad Age recently reported that companies that rely on checkout line activity, such as Mondelez, Hershey, and Wrigley, are scrambling to find new ways to convince shoppers to make impulse buys. However, since 30% to 50% of all offline purchases are impulse buys, the problem extends way beyond the snack industry.
New York City begins a new era in nutritional warnings this week, when chain restaurants will have to start putting a special symbol on highly salty dishes. The first-of-its-kind rule takes effect Tuesday. It will require a salt-shaker emblem on some sandwiches, salads and other menu items that top the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams - about a teaspoon - of sodium.
Target had its biggest online shopping day ever on Thanksgiving. The record-breaking sales online were driven by three items: the Apple iPad, the Apple Watch, and the Wii U gaming console, the company said.
As everyone from Victoria's Secret to Kohl's is jumping on the "athleisure" trend, there is suddenly a lot of competition in the sports apparel space. That puts athletics retailer Dick's Sporting Goods on thin ice. Apparel is a huge part of Dick's business. With a rough third quarter, which executives blamed on unseasonably warm weather, the continued success of apparel is more important than ever for the company.
Banana Republic prides itself on its "updated classics with a twist," as Art Peck, the CEO of its parent company, Gap Inc., put it recently. The twist isn't resonating with consumers. Banana Republic's efforts to appeal to a younger demographic have it looking more like a high-priced Forever 21 than a stylish, go-to destination.
Black Friday is behind us, Cyber Monday is behind us, and the competing narratives surrounding US consumers and the US economy are out in full force. On the one side of the ledger are research firms marketing a specific number to contextualize the increase or decrease in Black Friday sales. This year, for instance, sales fell 1.5% on Black Friday excluding online sales, according to ShopperTrak.
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