10 Surprising Stats About the 2013 Holiday Shopping Season
by Selena Maranjian
Ah, the holiday retail season, when most of us scurry around, shopping for gifts for loved ones, and trying to take advantage of the best sales we can find. You’ve been here before: You know the score.
Or do you? Here are a few interesting details you may not know about this year’s winter spending dash.
- About one quarter of Americans surveyed recently said that they never miss or usually visit at least one store on Black Friday.
- Apparently some Black Friday participants from seasons past stayed home this year, though, or maybe they just bought less, as the total take for the weekend, per the National Retail Federation, was down by $1.7 billion, or 3 percent.
- If 3 percent doesn’t seem too meaningful, consider this: The holiday season accounts for between 20 percent and 40 percent of typical retailers’ total annual sales.
- Those who think the idea of big crowds crushing their way into stores in the middle of the night sounds dreadful can take heart, because online shopping continues to grow rapidly. Black Friday was this holiday season’s first billion-dollar-plus online shopping day, with the total online take for the day of $1.2 billion, up a hefty 15 percent over last year.
- Not only are shoppers shopping online more (a record 66 million of them on Black Friday), they’re also increasingly shopping via their mobile devices. Yes, you probably knew that. But you might not realize just how fast the shift has been. On Black Friday, for example, Walmart’s (WMT) website may have been a little slow at times, but that’s because it had some 400 million pages viewed, and 53 percent of those were perused from smartphones or tablets. The number of purchases made via mobile devices tripled the previous year’s level.
- Parental love, meanwhile, is close to boundless, even is our bank accounts are far from it. Fully 57 percent of parents reported that they were going to take on debt over the holidays in order to buy gifts for their kids. Interestingly, per a recent survey, those with household incomes of less than $35,000 said they were willing to take on an average of $700 in debt, while those bringing in $75,000 or more were thinking about $300. full article
Americans’ Average Credit Card Debt Falls in 3Q
By ALEX VEIGA
LOS ANGELES — More Americans fell behind on their credit card payments in the third quarter, when many consumers traditionally hit stores for back-to-school supplies. Even so, the national late-payment rate remained close to its lowest level in six years, credit reporting agency TransUnion said Wednesday.
The rate of credit card payments at least 90 days overdue rose in the July-September quarter to 1.36 percent from the previous three-month period, when it was 1.27 percent — the lowest level on records going back to 2007, the firm said.
The third-quarter card delinquency rate was down from 1.50 percent in the same period last year, however.
“The credit card delinquency rate typically rises in the third quarter, partly because of back-to-school spending,” said Toni Guitart, director of research and consulting at TransUnion’s financial services business unit.
That’s expected to happen again in the current quarter, as many consumers hit stores for the holiday season and then put off payments on their credit cards until early next year. TransUnion projects the credit card delinquency rate will increase to around 1.48 percent in the fourth quarter. full article