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Kerry Lutz's--Financial Survival Network

Nov 27, 2018

Black Friday-
Retailers earn 40% of their sales in this short holiday season time frame. And many of us never cast a shadow in the doorway of a store. We shop online.
Seeing the pictures of Black Friday, with people pressed up against the outside of store windows, after fighting for space to park, like some scene from the zombie show The Walking Dead, who really wants to go to a store and be part of that?
More and more Americans are shopping online, almost exclusively, and not just at Christmas. It’s easier, the selection is bigger, there’s no teenaged sales clerk standing nearby, busily NOT helping me, and sometimes it’s cheaper. For many stores, especially those that offer little or nothing as part of their unique shopping experience, this is becoming a monstrous problem that will only get worse over time. The current crop of big spenders – the Boomers – increase their online spending each year, but the young set lives online.

As the Echo Boomers take over the position of top spending cohort in the years to come, the stores want to make sure they’re in line to maintain their share. Or go the route of Sears and disappear.
4 Trends to watch:

1. Will in-store purchases increase this season? An August, 2018 In-Store Holiday Shopping survey of 1,200 American consumers found that 88% of shoppers intend to shop in physical stores this season.

2. Unique shopping experiences expected. Shoppers today are happy to drive to physical stores seeking “an experience,” as opposed to simple transactions.

3. How much will online purchasing increase? “The second quarter of 2018 e-commerce estimate increased 15.2% from the second quarter of 2018, while total retail sales increased 5.7% in the same period,” according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

4. The multi-channel sales is the wave of the future. Various sales approaches include providing customers with an integrated shopping experience. In addition to brick and mortar locations, shoppers have access to products online from a desktop or their mobile phone.

But every story has at least two sides. While sales may be good news for the retailers and the stock holders, the bad news is in a new survey of over 2,000 U.S. consumers from buyback site Decluttr showing some 66 million consumers will wake up with a hangover of more debt after the holidays. Christmas, along with everything else has gotten more expensive. Americans are attempting to keep up with the increases by taking on more debt. Thanks to increases in mortgage debt, auto loan debt, and credit card debt, Americans now have more debt than ever before.

In August, 2018 the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data released its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit. The report shows that total household debt in the U.S. increased by $82 billion in the second quarter, which means Americans now collectively carry $13.19 trillion in debt. One thing is for sure. This is not sustainable.