Gallup reports that Americans spent an average of $119 per day, the highest recorded sales since 2008. Before this period, consumer spending was at its peak during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is when holiday shopping typically starts. This increase is being attributed to the holiday season falling on a weekend, although it still beat revenues generated in previous years that fell during this same period.
Revenues are expected to wane in the future though. Many Americans are still skeptical about the economy's turnaround, especially with the fiscal cliff hanging over our heads. There are reports that although our dear politicians are making some headway, no real compromise has been finalized.
While many retailers benefited from this holiday sale surge, a few were not so lucky. Since consumers are shopping with extreme caution, many are naturally looking for the best bang for their buck. There's a new term being thrown around in the retail industry: showrooming. Shoppers are browsing retail stores but purchasing merchandise online, which indicates consumers are finding better bargains at e-stores.
This has forced many retailers to match prices with their online rivals. There was a time when chain stores refused to match online prices, but increased competition has changed that. Personal haggling experiences of the past convinced two electronic stores to compete with inconspicuous sites.
Internet stores still won out though. Online sales were estimated at a 16 percent increase over the previous year during the same period, thanks to free shipping offered by many sites. Expect online sales to increase even further, driven mainly by the convenience it offers. Many brick and mortar companies allow consumers to shop for online merchandise at their stores. Products are shipped to and returned at many department stores without making customers pay for delivery fees. Add to that forgoing the shopping crowd and finding adequate parking space. Shopping in pajamas sounds so much more inviting.