Lies, damned lies and consumer surveys

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30 November 2010
Zilvinas Bareisis
In my yesterday's post, I mentioned that it would be interesting to see the actual retail results and if the US consumers would indeed be as frugal as some of the pre-shopping season surveys suggested. Well, the first results are just in - see First Data's Black Friday 2010 Spend Trend press release. And according to those numbers, the results are nothing like the surveys predicted - Black Friday dollar volume growth was 12.3%, a significant improvement over last year. Yes, the consumers are more value-conscious, but retailers have done a good job at lowering prices, resulting in not only improved dollar volume growth, but also increased average ticket sizes. Also, in direct contrast to survey expectations, travel merchant dollar volume growth was 15.9% as more Americans travelled for the Thanksgiving holiday. Sure, it's only a snapshot of one day and there is much more to go until the end of December, but it sends a clear message - don't believe all the surveys and forecasts you read.

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