NPD: Late November Shoppers Focus On Savings

The week before Thanksgiving brought slower sales growth for some product categories covered by The NPD Group, and steeper declines for others, resulting in a slight overall decrease in the third week of November versus the week in 2016, according to the market research firm.

Despite the week’s setback, retail sales for the first three weeks of the season are up 4% across the key general merchandise categories in NPD’s Holiday Shopping Bag study.

NPD noted that dollar sales in the third week of November 2017 were 1% lower than they were in the third week of November 2016. Small home appliances, prestige beauty and athletic footwear each generated dollar sales growth exceeding 5%. Overall, average price increases were insufficient to offset lower unit sales movement. Among stronger performing segments, kitchen appliance sales got a boost from cookers and home automation gained with help from security and monitoring.

NPD’s chief industry analyst, Marshal Cohen, said, “The consumer is trained to expect deeper discounts, and despite early Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions that helped keep some of the momentum going, they plan and wait for them to intensify on the key shopping holidays. Activity over the peak shopping period appears to have perked up from last year, but many consumers continued to self-gift, barely scratching the surface of their holiday shopping, so the rise in sales may not be as steep as expected.”