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It seemed like the Black Friday mania this year started weeks before Thanksgiving. And indeed we saw a sharp increase in holiday shopping during the week ending Nov 18. Two out of 3 consumers had starting their holiday shopping before the week of Black Friday, and 15-percent had already completed 75-percent of more of their shopping.
Compared to earlier in the month, last week consumers shopped for clothing and shoes, gift cards, and movies and video games. The largest decreases in shopping were for perfumes, event tickets, and photo gifts. Perhaps consumers are shifting away from more personalized gifts to more traditional holiday gifts.
While in-store purchasing remained stable, online hit a high last week. Online consumer spending averaged $238 last week, up $77 from earlier in the month. I think this is a direct result of online retailers, like powerhouse Amazon, offering Black Friday deals well in advance of Thanksgiving.
Things are starting to really heat up this season. Stay tuned next week for a recap of the week everyone loves, Black Friday week.
Debra Miller Arbesman is senior associate, retailer and consumer products at Compete, a Kantar Media company that helps brands improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millions of consumers.