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  • Strong Shopping Weekend, But Retailers Still Need A Big Week

    Christmas Highlights

    1. This weekend 52.0% of families shopped compared to 43.6% last year and 45.5% two years ago.

    2. While Wal-Mart led all retailers with 43.1% shopping, they are up from 39.2% a year ago. JCPenney was the winner with 19.7% compared to 9.7% last year along with Sears getting their share of 23.0% this year compared to 15.1% last year. Target has seen a decline getting 16.1% this Christmas compared to 20.6% last year.

    3. Electronics cooled with 19.7% shopping this weekend, which is identical to last year. Electronics has out-performed last year in the three previous weekends. Toys still lead all other categories with 33.5% buying toys this weekend, which is down from 37.5% last year. Jewelry is the big winner with 16.2% compared to 14.5% last year and 14.1% two years ago. Fragrances were very strong with 14.6% compared to 10.0% a year ago.

    4. Consumers are finding something to buy for themselves at 48.0% compared to 44.7% last year.

    5. Consumers are shopping more stores this year because it is harder to find real bargains – this weekend 43.3% shopped more compared to 38.1% last year.

    6. Gift cards still strong with a 39.5% purchase rate compared to 34.7% last year. On-line shopping is virtually the same this year with 29.7% compared to 29.8% last year. Catalog sales up from a year ago with 24.7% compared to 20.4%, but nearly identical to the 23.8% rate in 2002.

    America’s Research Group CEO, Britt Beemer, still holds to his 3.2% expected sales increase over a year ago. Retailers could still let this Christmas shopping season get away if they don’t give shoppers bigger discounts in the final five days.

    America’s Research Group interviewed 800 shoppers on Sunday evening, December 19, 2004. This study has an error factor of +/- 4.3%.