Friday, December 14

A Gift for Me

Deep in the midst of holiday shopping, retailers are screaming at us to buy our gifts.  I don't think it's ever been more competitive than this year ... businesses trying to beat last year's better than expected numbers, wanting to show signs of a continued economic recovery, and of course dying to get in before the "Fiscal Cliff."

Many analysts say that part of the reason for last year's sales was a phenomenon called "a gift for me."  Meaning that while people were shopping for holiday presents, they were throwing in "gifts" for themselves.  A sweater here, a smartphone there, an extra one for me!  The incremental sales helped to boost the overall market basket and sales went up.  Some say it saved the holiday season.

Consumer behavior at its finest.

This year retailers seem to have taken note and are actually promoting "a gift for me."  Perhaps disguised as a "buy one get one free" promotion, offers are including something for the buyer as a way to keep at the register.

It's clever promotion for sure, but also a timely way to capitalize on consumer sentiment.  I did it the other day myself ... I bought a sweater and threw in a scarf that I wore the rest of the day shopping.

A fun way to shop and a big boost to retail sales, again.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU

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