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Posts Tagged ‘National Retail Federation’

New Holiday Shopping Patterns Signal the Beginning of The End of Black Friday

holiday shopperThe numbers released so far for sales on this year’s Black Friday are way down. While the National Retail Federation says 87 million people still hit the stores, Black Friday just ain’t what it used to be.

In some ways, the shifts reflect the modern shopper’s use of the internet to buy gifts. In another way, the decline in shopping on this particular day is out of necessity. The PR and marketing campaign for Black Friday was too successful to be contained in one 24-hour period.

Ultimately, the most important thing for retailers is that they make their numbers for the season. But going forward, it’s becoming clear they won’t be able to count on Black Friday to put them in the black.

(Cyber Monday update after the jump.)

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The NRF Reminds Us That Retail Jobs Aren’t Just for Part-Timers and Discount Holiday Gifts

The National Retail Federation, the largest retail trade association in the world, has launched a campaign, “This Is Retail,” that’s focused on careers in that industry, which is most often thought of as a professional pit stop.

“Did you know that retail supports 42 million American jobs? Think those are all behind a cash register? Think again,” the campaign homepage reads.

Indeed, when we think of retail jobs, we tend to think of students working in the mall for a little extra money for books and beer. Or perhaps you or someone you know has taken a retail job at a favorite store just to get a killer discount on holiday gifts or on a summer wardrobe.

This campaign points out that retail jobs go in all different directions — from working in a shop to e-commerce and social media.

But perhaps speaking best to the need for jobs at a time when we still have a 6.7 percent unemployment rate and more than two million who are “marginally attached to the labor force” is the story of Claudine McKenzie, a 17-year Walmart veteran.

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Study: Millennials Are Totally Cool with ‘the New Black Friday’


Lots of brands have been getting flack for starting their holiday sales earlier and earlier and even (gasp!) soiling Thanksgiving by opening their doors before Americans can recover from their Turkey Day food hangovers. Some experts even claim that the phenomenon is quickly moving toward extinction.

Yet new reports on the behavior of that all-important Millennial demographic say otherwise.

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Spin the Agencies of Record

Nope. Not that.

“My first job was in retail at the age of 14, and I have worked in the industry ever since.” – Rachel Roy

The National Retail Federation has retained digital agency Rain (PR AOR Sunshine Sachs) to create digital shorts for its industry campaign site This Is Retail. The purpose of the campaign is to convince young people that a career in retail doesn’t necessarily mean working the register for $10 an hour.

NRF SVP Bill Thorne says “We want young people to think retail when they are on the job hunt”, because the booming industry truly does need more employees at a time when jobless rates for young grads are near record highs. The videos are clever (watch one after the jump), but good luck getting young folks to say “Hell yeah, I work in retail!”

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Back-to-School Ads Before Fireworks? How Early is Too Early?

Okay, we realize that the back-to-school shopping season is — next to the winter holiday season — the most important time of year for retailers, but as infuriating as it is to see Christmas lights in stores before Halloween, we find it equally jarring to see back-to-school ads running between spots for Independence Day sales.

As most families were planning 4th of July festivities, retailers like Apple and Walmart were already thinking about pencils, books, electronics and school clothes, hoping to get an early jump on the $84 billion in sales that back-to-school shopping accounts for in the retail world. But are people really receptive to school-related advertising just a week or two after the last bell rings?

Statistically, most people start stocking up on school supplies three to four weeks before classes begin (i.e. mid-to-late July through mid August). “In seven and a half years, I’ve never once seen so much emphasis put on back-to-school before July 4,” National Retail Federation spokeswoman Kathy Grannis told AdAge.

Since the start of the recession, the NRF has noticed a change in holiday shopping trends — rather than waiting until the last few weeks to shop, many people attempt to space out their spending by starting their shopping early. It’s possible that retailers like Apple and Walmart are hoping a similar trend may appear with back-to-school shopping. Read more

Cyber Monday and Other Retail Opportunities

Photo: Darren Hauck, Getty Images

According to, Cyber Monday began with a press release (and you thought it was dead!) issued five years ago. It claimed the Monday after Thanksgiving “is quickly becoming one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.”

Analysts say this isn’t true, with Mike Gikas, the Consumer Reports technology and electronics editor, telling CNN that online sales don’t cluster on any specific day. Ellen Davis, the VP of the National Retail Federation, which owns and, says the term arose “organically.”

Whatever. ComScore says sales for the day could pass $900 million. Moreover, the online activity around the launch of the holiday shopping season is very real.

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