Retailers, consumers and prices
Thanksgiving is fast approaching and you know what that means: It’s time to put away your designer jeans and man Spanx and settle into something a little more … accommodating.
Let us introduce you to Gluttony Pants, the result of a partnership between Betabrand and chef Chris Cosentino. They’re the shade of a perfectly roasted turkey, have pockets the color of cranberries and adjust to three indulgent sizes: piglet, sow and boar.
The trousers are the first installment in Betabrand’s 7 Sins clothing series for men and women. They’re made in San Francisco, sold only through Betabrand.com and will run you $100.
Not your thing? Well, there’s always dad’s old Sansabelt pants.
(Photos of trousers and Cosentino courtesy of Betabrand.com)
The Chicago Tribune is giving the gift of a free issue to Cyber Monday shoppers. Online, right? Wrong. This free newspaper (a 75 cent value) only applies to shoppers who actually venture out to stores today.
The bankrupt newspaper appears to understand the discrepancy. In a statement, the Tribune defines Cyber Monday as the online version of Black Friday, which is the day when millions of shoppers hit stores.
Tourists helped Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship store last quarter perform in line with the chain’s other stores, and Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren told Reuters on Friday that lately he was hearing more languages besides English than ever on the store floor.
Black Friday is no longer a sport for the leisurely shopper. From our late-night rounds, it became clear that people were lining up all over in the dead of night (and some earlier than that!) not just for the fun of it but out of necessity.
While many of the stoutest shoppers were grimly determined to get their deals and get out, there was some fun and holiday cheer.
Heaps of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce will induce a collective food coma on Thanksgiving, sending a majority Americans to their beds for a much-needed nap, if one is to believe a survey released on Thursday by coffee and doughnut chain Dunkin’ Donuts.
About 58 percent of the 500 Americans Dunkin’ Donuts surveyed this week predicted they would succumb to sleep during the holiday next week, according to the chain. Overeating will do that to you.
It’s time to defrost your bird, says Mary Clingman, director of the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line (1-800-BUTTERBALL).
Clingman and her fellow Turkey talk specialists field about 100,000 panicked calls from home cooks each year and have dubbed this Thursday ”national thaw day.”
But consumers don’t exactly seem to be quaking in their boots at the prospects of finding empty racks this Christmas season.
Check out a survey showing that younger U.S. consumers are trimming travel plans as well as turkeys during Thanksgiving.
More young professionals (37 percent) are adjusting their Thanksgiving travel and spending plans than the affluent and general population (both 30 percent), according to a survey by American Express. Young professionals are defined as less than 30 years old, having a college degree and a minimum annual household income of $50,000.
The young guns also are pulling back in other areas:
* 11 percent of young professionals plan to drive instead of flying, compared to 7 percent of the general population and 6 percent of the affluent, who are defined as having a minimum annual household income of $100,000.
* 8 percent of young pros plan to shorten their stay for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, compared to the affluent and general population (both 3 percent).
* 7 percent of young pros will use rewards points, miles and special offers to offset the cost, versus 4 percent of the affluent and 3 percent of the general population.
Overall, American Express found 30 percent of U.S. consumers plan to adjust this year’s travel plans for Thanksgiving — historically one of the busiest travel days of the year — but only 21 percent expect those expenses to decline from last year.
Those who are changing their plans said they will rely more on travel by car, stay for a shorter time and cash in rewards to help pay for holiday trips as they become more selective amid the high unemployment and soft housing market.
However, in a positive sign, sales at U.S. retailers excluding vehicle sales rose for the second straight month in September, raising cautious optimism consumer spending could support the economic recovery.
The American Express survey also showed that the young professionals are cutting back for Halloween, when consumers spent $5.8 billion last year according to the National Retail Federation.
* 36 percent of young pros are buying less expensive costumes and decorations. The rate is 16 percent among the affluent group and 15 percent among the general population.
Retailers say it can be difficult to measure their monthly sales results accurately on a year-over-year basis because of calendar shifts — sometimes a holiday falls in one month, boosting results, while the next year the holiday shifts into a different month, hurting results.
The most drastic case of this is usually seen in March and April, when the timing of the Easter holiday can help March sales and hurt April, or vice versa.