November 21, 2018

Figuring out Christmas shopping, by the numbers (New Hampshire Union Leader) »

Christmas shopping, for many, is a numbers game.

We’re talking 65-inch TVs for $398 at Walmart and $4.99 toasters at Kmart.

Thanksgiving falls at the earliest possible time on the calendar — providing extra days to shop or procrastinate.

“I continue to be amazed at how many people come” to shop Thanksgiving at the JC Penney in Manchester, said store general manager Mark Dougherty. He estimated a couple of hundred people line up when the doors open at 2 p.m.

Here are a few numbers to digest as you plot your shopping strategy — whether that be rushing to the mall or relaxing with Amazon at home:

0: Cost for a slow cooker at Macy’s after rebate as part of Black Friday Doorbusters.

1: Rank of Black Friday as the top shopping day.

2: Number of states the Pheasant Lane Mall parking lots in Nashua straddle, with 4,944 spaces in all.

3: Number of Sears stores in New Hampshire slated to close before Christmas (Manchester, Salem and Newington).

5: Forecasted low temperature on Black Friday in Manchester.

6: p.m., the time stores open on Thanksgiving at Tanger Outlets in Tilton — the kickoff to 28 straight hours; stores will remain open until 10 p.m. Friday.

14: Percent who plan to shop at a drug store during the Christmas shopping season.

16: Number of themes available for gift cards at three NH Simon Malls locations in Manchester, Nashua and Salem.

22.1: Percent who will shop on Amazon vs. 15.8 percent at Walmart

26: Percent of total annual revenues generated in November and December for New Hampshire retailers.

28.6: Percent who plan to start Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving weekend.

32: Consecutive hours staying open at JC Penney in Manchester.

50.3: Percent who will order gifts using their mobile phone.

55: Percent who plan to shop online or at a department store (tie).

65: Percent who shop over Thanksgiving weekend do it to take advantage of deals.

85: Number of employees working Black Friday at JC Penney in Manchester.

94: Percent who plan to take advantage of free shipping.

100: Estimated number of Concord businesses participating in Plaid Friday this Friday to promote local businesses.

638 — Dollars spent on average nationally on gifts for family, friends and co-workers

1,600+ — Cups of coffee sold at food court at Merrimack Premium Outlets over Black Friday weekend

6,000 — Feet of strung Christmas lights on the property of Tanger Outlets

10,800+ — Number of lights on holiday decor at Merrimack Premium Outlets

12,000+ — Number of candy canes Santa will give out at three Simon Malls’ three locations in New Hampshire.

The lower the temperature, the higher the sales, in some cases.

“It’s so cold that people are going to be into the Christmas spirit earlier,” said Nancy Kyle, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Retail Association, which represents more than 900 businesses, from mom-and-pop shops to national retailers.

June Emery scouted the merchandise at the JC Penney store in Manchester on Monday and recited multiple benefits from shopping on Thanksgiving.

“After you eat and want to move around,” the Tilton mother said, you shop “and you run into people and talk.”

Emery’s daughter, Kerri Hafford of Belmont, cited a simple reason for shopping deals on Thanksgiving.

“Get the first pick,” she said.

Sources: National Retail Federation, ShopperTrak, Simon Malls, Intown Concord, JCPenney, Tanger Outlets, Womply, National Weather Service, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)

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