holiday shopping

Business
1:45 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Christmas week ice storm knocked out holiday sales for Michigan retailers

Last minute Christmas shoppers in Jackson, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A new report shows the major winter storm that knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of Michiganders last month also hurt late Christmas sales.

About a half million Michiganders spent part of Christmas week in the dark after an ice storm cut a swath through the state.

Tom Scott is with the Michigan Retailers Association.  He says the Dec. 22 storm robbed many stores of last-minute Christmas shoppers.

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Business
2:55 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

'Tis the time for the 'selfish shopper'

Day after Christmas sales
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Now that Christmas is over, Michigan retailers may be hoping that shoppers show more of their selfish side.

The holiday season is a season of giving. But one analyst says now that the presents have all been opened it's time for the "selfish shopper" to take over.

Trae Bodge is a senior editor for RetailMeNot.com. Bodge says being a "selfish shopper" is not necessarily a bad thing.

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Business
2:10 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Last minute holiday shoppers swarm Michigan stores on Christmas Eve

Christmas shoppers line up at cash registers on Christmas Eve
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Today hordes of last-minute Christmas shoppers hit Michigan stores frantically shopping for the perfect present, or at least the best still available.

The checkout lines, all two dozen of them, at a Meijer in Jackson were at least three shoppers deep around noon.

Jeff Bycraft was doing some last-minute Christmas shopping with his fiancé.

“Running a little bit behind this year, but we’re going to get it all done today. You have to,” says Bycraft.

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Business
1:52 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

Michigan shoppers will move from the store to the office on Monday

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Tomorrow, many people will switch from shopping at brick and mortar stores to shopping at online stores.

And, that means many will do Cyber-Monday browsing from their office cubicle.

Robert Half Technology surveyed employers and found 29 percent block access to online shopping sites.    That’s down from 33 percent last year.

Karen Wilson is with Robert Half.    She says allowing employees to shop online could actually improve productivity.

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Economy
11:29 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Enough consumerism, calls for 'Giving Tuesday'

Greengobbler Morguefile

Philanthropic organizations want to capitalize on the spending campaigns of "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday"  - and also flip the idea of consumerism on its head.

The idea behind "Giving Tuesday" is to take time to donate to charity, after two of the biggest shopping days of the year.

Eileen Heisman is the CEO of National Philanthropic Trust - one of the groups promoting the campaign.

"This is the first year, but I think it's going to continue," said Heisman. "I'm almost positive it is, and so I think in the following years we'll see a much bigger push and more visibility for people taking this time of year to give back in a more formal way on this day."

Charities report nearly a quarter of their annual donations come between Thanksgiving and New Years.

Business
8:15 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Black Friday gets darker: Study says prices aren't really lower

Steve Rhodes flickr

While there must be some Black Friday shoppers waking up before dawn just for the thrill of throwing elbows on their way to the last Tickle Me Elmo, most shoppers rationalize this seemingly irrational behavior by pointing to cheaper prices.

And of course the prices are lower. Right?

Not so, says the Wall Street Journal.

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Business
7:41 am
Fri November 23, 2012

The holiday shopping rush is on in Michigan

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan retailers are optimistic they will have a very good holiday shopping season this year.

Nationally, sales are expected to be up by four percent over last year.

Tom Scott with the Michigan Retailers Association says this is a critical five-week stretch for many store owners.

“It’s probably 20 to 25% of a retailers’ business of the year…depending on what kind of retailer they are,” says Scott,  “If they’re a toy store….it could be 50% or more.”

Economy
9:55 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Online shoppers shifting focus

An Ann Arbor-based consumer research firm says there’s been a shift in people’s online shopping habits. 

Ann Arbor-based ForeSee asked more than eight thousand online shoppers about their satisfaction levels with 40 of the nation’s top web retailers.   ForeSee released its 7th annual Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index today.  

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Economy
4:01 pm
Sun December 25, 2011

Many unhappy returns: Michigan businesses prepared for another Christmas tradition

They looked so pretty under the tree.
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

The presents have all been opened and many will be heading back to the store.   

Returning or exchanging gifts is part of the American holiday shopping season tradition.  

But Patrick Bennett with the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Michigan warns if you plan to return a present you should know the store’s rules for returning or exchanging merchandise. 

“It’s important that consumers retain the original packaging if they plan on returning items.  Or if they receive something that they know in fact they are going to return it, don’t even open it. Take it back in its original condition," says Bennett.   

Bennett also advises people returning presents to see if the business charges a restocking fee. He says restocking fees are common for businesses that sell electronics.  

Bennett says many retailers have tightened their rules on accepting returned merchandise in recent years to crack down on fraud. 

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Economy
4:01 pm
Sun December 25, 2011

Michigan's holiday shopping season Part 2

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

 The next phase of the holiday shopping season will start Monday with 'After Christmas' sales.  

Tom Scott is with the Michigan Retailers Association.    He says most retailers will offer some extra incentives to get customers into their stores, especially ones who got ‘gift cards’ as presents.  

Economy
1:44 pm
Fri December 23, 2011

Twas the day before the day before Christmas (and Michigan retailers are happy)

What's under your tree?
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

 This is turning into a very merry holiday shopping season for Michigan retailers.   

 The hard numbers are still coming in, but it appears early optimism for a strong Christmas shopping season is panning out.   

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Arts/Culture
12:07 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

With Borders gone, holiday sales up at many indie bookstores

Inside Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor
Photo courtesy of Nicola's Books

Holiday sales appear to be up at most independent bookstores in Michigan, thanks in part to the fact that one of their major competitors is no longer around.

Borders, the now defunct big bookstore chain, was often accused of killing the independent bookstore. But those indie bookstores that remain are now reaping the benefits of Borders demise.

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Offbeat
8:00 am
Sat December 3, 2011

The holiday season by the numbers

A welcome sign in Santa Claus, Indiana
user Andrew 94 Flickr

We here at Michigan Radio know that nothing conjures the holiday spirit quite like numerical data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Bureau recently released a set of seasonaly-inspired  facts and figures.

Here are some numbers from their list:

  • Place names associated with the holiday season include North Pole, Alaska (population 2,117); Santa Claus, Ind. (2,481); Santa Claus, Ga. (165); Noel, Mo. (1,832); and — if you know about reindeer — the village of Rudolph, Wis. (439) and Dasher, Ga. (912). There is Snowflake, Ariz. (5,590) and a dozen places named Holly, including Holly Springs, Miss. (7,699) and Mount Holly, N.C. (13,656).
  • $27.2 billion---Retail sales by the nation’s department stores in December 2010. This represented a 44 percent jump from the previous month (when retail sales, many holiday-related, registered $18.8 billion). No other month-to-month increase in department store sales last year was as large.
  • 21,891---The number of electronic shopping and mail-order houses in business in 2009. These businesses, which employed 320,721 workers, are a popular source of holiday gifts
  • $983 million---The value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree ornaments from China between January and September 2011. China was the leading country of origin for such items. Similarly, China was the leading foreign source of artificial Christmas trees shipped to the United States ($79.7 million worth) during the same period.
  • 88---Number of establishments around the country that primarily manufactured dolls and stuffed toys in 2009. California led the nation with 15 locations.
  • 50 percent---Proportion of the nation’s spuds produced in Idaho and Washington in 2010. Potato latkes are always a crowd pleaser during Hanukkah.
  • $1.5 billion---The value of product shipments of candles in 2009 by the nation’s manufacturers. Many of these candles are lit during Hanukkah and Kwanzaa celebrations.
  • More than 312 million---The nation’s projected population as we ring in the New Year.

- John Klein Wilson, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Retail Sales
11:36 am
Wed December 22, 2010

Christmas sales strong for Michigan retailers

What's under the tree?
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

It’s not Christmas yet, but Michigan retailers are in the holiday spirit. There are signs this will be the best holiday shopping season in Michigan in many years. 

When the holiday shopping season was getting started a month ago, a survey showed a majority of Michigan retailers were optimistic that they would see increased sales compared to last Christmas. The latest data is backing up that optimism.

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Holiday shopping
11:07 am
Sat November 27, 2010

Holiday shopping moves online

Michigan retailers have been busy this weekend with the beginning of the holiday shopping season. But Monday could be a very big day as well.

The National Retail Federation coined the term ‘Cyber Monday’ five years ago to describe the growing trend of holiday shoppers flooding store websites on the Monday following thanksgiving.  A recent survey found more shoppers planned to shop online  Monday than stand in line on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  

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