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CU members shopped more on Thanksgiving same on Friday
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif., and FRANKLIN, Mass. (11/30/12)--Holiday shoppers, including credit union members, didn't wait until Black Friday to hit the malls or the Internet this year. Many began shopping on Thanksgiving Day, says a debit card-transactions analysis by CO-OP Financial Services and Saylent Technologies.

"It appears that shoppers in growing numbers are taking advantage of the trend by stores to open during the evening of Thanksgiving Day, rather than waiting until early the next morning," said Stan Hollen, president/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services. "The resulting activity increase over both days compared to last year should be encouraging to retailers heading into the holiday season."

Members of credit unions recorded roughly the same buying activity this past Black Friday as they did in 2011. However, they dramatically increased their transaction and spending levels on Thanksgiving Day for the same period.

Black Friday 2012 transactions by credit union debit card holders actually decreased by 0.2%, and total dollars spent decreased 3.5%, compared with 2011 transactions. In a similar survey conducted last year, CO-OP and Saylent found that shoppers made 10.1% more transactions and spent 8.1% more during Black Friday than in 2010.

It was a much different story on Thanksgiving Day, said CO-OP and Saylent. Thanksgiving transactions increased 18.8%, and dollars spent rose even more, 30.7%, in 2012 compared with the year before.

For the entire two-day period of Nov. 22-23, 2012, total transactions and dollars spent rose modestly year over year--a 6.25% rise in transactions, and a 6.5% rise in dollars spent.

The analysis of sales is not an estimate but is based on more than 5.1 million actual transactions made during the two days. Drawn from debit card transactions across credit unions processed by CO-OP Financial Services, the year-over-year comparison was performed through an advanced analytics solution, CO-OP Total Revelation, powered by Saylent Technologies, and was conducted by Saylent's Insight360 consulting team.

The study's sample of consumer activity represented both brick-and-mortar and Internet transactions.

Otherl key findings include:

  • Thanksgiving Day spending may have increased significantly, but there is no danger of Black Friday being overtaken as the busiest shopping day of the year. Black Friday transactions exceeded that of Thanksgiving Day by 95.1%, while 140.3% more dollars were spent on Black Friday compared to Thanksgiving Day.
  • The CO-OP and Saylent analysis broke down transaction and spending activity in 20 different types of retail outlets. For Black Friday, the category seeing the highest level of growth was record shops, which included iTunes, Amazon Online Services and Amazon Kindle purchases. Record shops showed a 36.5% increase in transactions, and a robust 25.25% increase in dollars spent.
  • Discount stores led all retail outlets on Black Friday in terms of transactions and spending, as they did last year. However, transactions were down 13.2% and spending was down 9.7% compared to 2011, suggesting a renewed consumer interest in specialty retailers, said CO-OP and Saylent. One such example is Women's Ready-to-Wear Stores, which showed increases of 12.5% in transactions and 13.2% in sales, year over year.
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