As consumers, we love a good bargain. Especially holiday shopping deals. So much so that we're willing to drop the drumstick and take a jabbing elbow from our fellow Black Friday compatriots. And this year, with fewer holiday shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, some retailers have even more to gain on Black Friday.
Christmas comes early
A recently released Placed survey uncovered insights into holiday shoppers, particularly the brick-and-mortar retailers that consumers have a high propensity to visit on Black Friday. Not surprisingly, the study found Black Friday shoppers more likely to visit discount retailers. Merchants that topped the list were Famous Footwear, part of Brown Shoe Company (NYSE: BWS ) , Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO ) , and Burlington Stores' (NYSE: BURL ) Burlington Coat Factory.
Placed found consumers 34% more likely to visit Famous Footwear on Black Friday, based on pre-holiday observed visits. Famous Footwear's Brown Shoe Company designs, sources, and markets footwear to department stores, independent retailers, and online merchants. While most of the company's approximate 1,300 retail shoe stores are located in the U.S., Brown Shoe has expanded into Canada, China, and Guam. Brown Shoe has also recently bumped up its advertising and marketing spending and expanded its loyalty program to drive sales. Average store revenue per square foot stands at nearly $200 for Famous Footwear, up from $167 in 2009. But while the company has enjoyed top-line growth during the past several years, it's failed to deliver bottom-line growth in that time.
Shoppers participating in the survey were also 28% more likely to visit Aeropostale on Black Friday. That news is like early Christmas cheer for the distressed retailer, which posted an unattractive double-digit drop in same-store sales last quarter. The teen apparel retailer has significantly marked down items, resulting in operating losses and gross margin contraction. Its stock currently trades near its 52-week low. Unlike many retailers, Aeropostale will not open its doors to shoppers on Thanksgiving. However, the discounter may want to rethink that decision.
Off-priced department store Burlington Coat Factory also ranked high on the list, with consumers 27% more likely to visit this retailer on Black Friday. Since the economic downturn, discount retailers like Burlington have greatly benefited from the upsurge of the budget-conscious customer. Burlington operates roughly 500 stores, mostly located in the U.S. In the near term, a big chunk of its cash flow will be earmarked for investments in new stores and remodeling existing ones. The New Jersey-based company made its stock exchange debut in early October, and shares have surged more than 75% since its IPO.
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