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What’s Selling So Far?

Dec 1, 2013
Marshal Cohen, Chief Industry Advisor ;
Apparel , Retail

Holiday weekend shopping results (Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Saturday) are looking good for both brick and click retailers.

The top ten categories that scored well are filled with a few surprises. Topping the list was apparel (no surprise) with 28 percent of purchases, followed by toys at 11 percent (no surprise there, either). But here is the kicker: footwear, which was one of the items we called out in an earlier blog as a hot category to watch for this holiday season, comes in third at 9 percent. Movies and food were both at 9 percent as well. Video games followed at 6 percent, and apparently, appliances make great gifts these days, also securing 6 percent of purchases (so much for the rule about not buying a gift with a plug for a loved one). Gift cards and tablets both started off hot again this year at 5 percent, and the perennial top 10 ranked, books, came in at 4 percent of purchases.

With footwear being a popular “self-gifting” item, the rise of footwear to the top three illustrates the influence that self-gifting has on holiday sales. This, combined with retailers doing a better job of including footwear in their doorbuster sales, made it a force to be reckoned with. For example, one area in stores that saw some of the biggest crowds (and the most chaos) were shoppers grabbing the big shoe boxes filled with boots at great prices. With 4 percent of purchases, TV’s did well, too. I don’t know many people that give a big screen TV as a gift, which leads me to believe that this part of the holiday shopping season is as much about self-gifting and deal hunting as it is about purchasing gifts for others.

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Anatomy of Black Friday study, November 2013


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