About 151 million Americans shopped in stores and online during Black Friday weekend, compared with the 136 million who said earlier that they planned to shop during the holiday weekend, according to an NRF survey. "It is clear that the age-old holiday tradition of heading out to stores with family and friends is now equally matched in the new tradition of looking online for holiday savings opportunities," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.
Macy's $400 million, multi-year renovation of its New York City flagship brought much modernization, but it stopped short of changing out the store's wooden escalators, which are nearly a century old. "They're iconic to our brand. At the end of the day, they operate effectively, they meet all the necessary codes and they're reliable," Macy's Facilities Director Alan Westenberger said.
Workout wear comprises a big portion of sales at Dick's Sporting Goods, and the category is growing increasingly competitive as more retailers sell brands like Nike and Under Armour and launch their own brands. Dick's aims to stay competitive in the category with its Calia by Carrie Underwood athletic fashion line and its boutique concept called Chelsea Collective.
Macy's opened its doors to 15,000 shoppers at its New York City flagship at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, and other stores in the New York area saw strong traffic as well, Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren said. "It's been a challenging third quarter and this November has been the warmest November in 250 years, but last night everybody came out," he said Friday.
A growing number of retailers are going social with their holiday ads, including J.Crew, which created shoppable Instagram ads, and American Girl, which has been advertising its "Get a Friend. Give a Friend." program on Facebook and Instagram. "We are also placing greater emphasis on storytelling in all of our channels, but particularly in social," American Girl spokeswoman Julie Parks said.
ALDI has found success with shoppers around the world, partly due to the its low prices. To keep its prices low, the German retailer looks to private labels for about 90% of its stock, stocks fewer items than traditional supermarkets, uses energy-efficient lighting and depends on streamlined store operations that require fewer workers, among other strategies.
Amazon debuted its latest drone prototype Sunday, claiming the unmanned vehicle can fly 15 miles and reach a height of nearly 400 feet. Amazon continues to push forward on drone designs to carry packages to shoppers in under 30 minutes, and it confirmed that it plans to make various designs to accommodate different environments.
From Nov. 23 through Nov. 30, approximately 57 million consumers shopped or will shop for consumer electronics products, with smartphones being the most sought-after product, Consumer Technology Association data indicate. CE purchases will total about $150 per shopper during the Black Friday period, said Shawn DuBravac, CTA's chief economist.
Panasonic is bringing a line of 50- to 65-inch "value-priced" Ultra HD 4K TVs to a broad lineup of electronics retailers. The CX series sets are already selling on Panasonic.com and have suggested retail prices of $799 to $1,499.
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