Prodco’s 2018 Black Friday Weekend review!

Posted on December 4, 2018

Black Friday Insights


US Region

Executive Summary:

Black Friday brick-and-mortar traffic flat.

Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index for Black Friday for all regions of the USA reported a slight 0.02% increase compared to 2017. The Midwest reported the largest year-over-year increase of 1.08% while the West reported the largest decrease of 1.01%.

According to a joint National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey, within the 5 days surrounding Thanksgiving’s weekend, 165 million Americans shopped either online or in stores this year.

– 89.7 million Americans chose to shop both online and in brick-and-mortar stores this year compared to 64 million Americans last year
– 41.4 million chose to shop online only compared to 58 million last year
– 34.7 million chose brick-and-mortar stores only compared to 51 million people last year

With a strong US economy, more Americans took to shopping during the Black Friday weekend compared to last year. Although more consumers decided to shop overall, brick-and-mortar store visits continued to lose ground to the comfort of shopping from a computer or device at home.

If you would like to receive Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index Reports on a weekly basis, please click here.

Canada Map

Canada Region

Executive Summary:

Black Friday continues to gain in popularity in Canada.

Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index for Black Friday in Canada reported an increase of 3.50% for all regions. Quebec reported the largest year-over-year increase of 8.30% while British Columbia reported the largest year-over-year decrease of -0.67%.

As per Diane Brisebois, RCC president and CEO, “While our shopping habits appear to be shifting and becoming more in tune with our neighbours south of the border, Canadians are showing a greater interest in keeping our dollars at home this year”.

The retail Council of Canada (RCC) also reported in a holiday shopping study that 40 percent of Canadians were planning to shop Black Friday Sales compared to just 25 percent on Boxing Day. This indicates that Black Friday in Canada will continue to grow and has largely replaced the traditional Boxing Day.

If you would like to receive Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index Report on a weekly basis, please click here.

Valentine’s Day : The New Retail Sensation ?

Posted on February 22, 2018

Flowers Image

$19.6 billion. That’s the total spending expected for 2018 Valentine’s Day by U.S. consumers. Still very far from the sales results that are usually brought by other big Holidays such as Black Friday or Christmas (spendings being approximately 8 times higher at $900 per household), Valentine’s Day has been in very good shape since the last couple years, as we are expecting the average spending per household to increase from $136.57 in 2017 to $143.56 in 2018. Even if only 55% of Americans declare that they were celebrating Valentine’s Day according to NRF, it is still a very lucrative and good opportunity for retailers to grow their annual turnover.

And where were these consumers expected to shop exactly ? Much the same as in 2017, department stores (35 percent), discount stores (32 percent), online (29 percent), specialty stores (19 percent), florists (17 percent), and local small businesses (14 percent), are taking the lead as the most popular anticipated point of purchase.

A Holiday Perceived Differently Through Generations

As fun as it might sound, a quarter of those under the age of 35, mostly Millenials and Generation Z members, were planning to buy Valentine’s Day gifts for their non-human significant others. Specialty retail stores such as PetSmart and Amazon even dedicated somes sections of their stores to Valentine’s Day. And if you think about it for a minute, this totally make sense, as  Millennials now account for more than a third of all pet owners in the U.S.

We’ve learned in the past few years that a certain kind of transition was happening in the values shared by older and younger generations. Indeed, younger consumers are more attracted in spending their money on experiences rather than material goods and objects, like their predecessors. Roughly a quarter of celebrants under the age of 35 also planned to give a gift of experience, and 42.3% say they would love to receive one. And this trend is even higher for celebrants under the age of 24 !

We know that these younger generations are huge adopters of healthy living, healthy eating and well-being. And if there is one single day where they can cross the line of their good habits during the year, Valentine’s Day might be the one ! 69 percent of these Holiday celebrants were planning to give candies this last Valentine’s Day. As gifts are often considered as the stars of the day, among those 25 to 34 years old, 62 percent were planning to gift sweets. Although this adoration of sweets seems to be pretty much generalized and shared between all generations as 55 percent of overall celebrants were planning to offer candies or sweets to their loved ones.

In general, brands have been incredibly active on a large variety of digital platform, trying to have their followers to buy their products to celebrate the Holiday, and convincing their young customers that their products would pleased their loved ones the most. We know that Millenials and Gen Zers are highly influenced by social media content and influencers collaborations with brands, it might be one of the principal causes as to why they have been more engaged with their Holiday Purchases this year.


No matter in which industry you are evolving, or the consumers you are trying to reach, if you are a retailer operating brick-and-mortar stores, Valentine’s Day can offer you great opportunities. As an informed retailer, you have the power to transform these insights and trends into sales and profitability. Make sure you are adapting your products and service offerings for the new and upcoming generation, who will keep increasing their purchasing power in the next few years.

Contact us to get our latest Valentine’s Day Flash Report, analyse your 2018 performance and start planning your next strategy.

How Brick and Mortars Are Living Alongside E-commerce

Posted on February 19, 2018

Online Shopping

Critics have been forecasting the death of the traditional brick and mortar store in the face of the booming emergence of e-commerce sales. E-commerce has undeniably changed the retail landscape forever. Despite this, brick and mortar stores are learning how to live alongside e-commerce platforms and even incorporate online strategies of their own to protect their market in the retail industry landscape.

In Person vs Online: The Customer Experience

While offline sales are still 10x higher than online sales, the online sales market is growing 3x faster compared to traditional retail landscapes. Consumers have cited that the convenience of online shopping is a huge draw for them. Online stores are open 24/7, and no not require the consumer to physically travel to the store to purchase an item. Consumers also cite that they often find better prices online due to the ease of the ability to compare prices.

Despite the ease of online shopping, consumers still crave the tactile experience of physical stores. Consumers can see, touch, and even try on the item they are seeking to purchase. Purchasing items in-store also offers the instant gratification that consumers crave, there is no need to wait days or even sometimes weeks for a product to be shipped to the consumer’s door.

Verifying the product’s quality in person also avoids the hassle of online returns. For some consumers, offline shopping also offers a social experience with friends and family that cannot be replicated online. In addition, the customer service experience in-store is often cited by consumers as being far superior to that offered by online retailers.

How Brick and Mortars Are Adapting to Change

Brick and mortar retailers have been adapting to the growth of online sales by implementing online strategies of their own, referred to as omnichannel strategies. For consumers, the omnichannel experience means that they can interact with traditional retailers across a myriad of platforms. Retailers aim to engage the consumer both online and offline to provide an integrated and cohesive experience.

A simple example is offering the consumer the ability to purchase an item online, and in turn pick-up or return the item in-store. This provides the consumer the ease of online shopping combined with the tactile experience and customer service that consumers enjoy from physical stores.

Further, the omnichannel experience also encompasses intelligently engaging consumers through marketing via social media, newsletters and interactive websites to draw consumers in stores and away from strictly online retail competitors. This way, traditional brick and mortar retailers are carving their own market online.


As the retail landscape continues to evolve, brick and mortar stores must implement new strategies to keep their competitive edge over online retailers. By incorporating omnichannel strategies and cutting edge, personalized solutions such as Prodco’s platform, brick and mortars will gain a better understanding of their customers’ needs and thus, be in a better position to provide the best shopping experience possible.

New Luxury Consumers: How to Take Advantage of these New Opportunities and Drive Performance

Posted on February 2, 2018

Purse Image

World economics is changing and evolving very fast. As consumers from emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) are gaining purchasing power, new luxury consumers have to be considered as they will be shaping the future of luxury retailers all around the globe. In February 2017, Deloitte conducted a study across 11 countries to explore consumers’ changing attitudes and behaviors on luxury goods. The results of their survey and studies are crystal clear: luxury goods spending is still pretty robust, and is coming from consumer segments that have not been very active in the past.

Overall, only 4% of people seem to have dropped their spending on luxury goods over the last 5 years. However, growth in this particular category appears to be driven by consumers coming from emerging markets. Consumers coming from these specific markets declared a major increase of their luxury buyings of 70% in the last 5 years, compared to 52% in the more mature markets such as United States and France.

Deloitte study’s also revealed an interesting aspect of emerging markets consumers reality. As luxury goods are not accessible and affordable in their domestic countries, emerging markets shoppers are often doing their purchases while traveling in more mature countries. 40% of these consumers are choosing to buy their luxury goods abroad, while traveling for work or for pleasure.


Emerging markets have to be considered as great opportunities by retailers. If you are using the right strategy, reaching these new consumers might help your business grow exponentially. Are you thinking about expending your operations and sales to these new territories anytime soon ? Do you already generating a lot of business coming from tourism ? You’ll definitely need to adapt you stores experiences to new realities and consider different shopper’s behaviors.

Prodco is now present in 42 different countries. We have the technology, the knowledge and the data to help you operate territories that you might not already deeply know. Contact us today to start understanding the shoppers reality of the new territories you are looking to explore.

« Today at Apple » Program : A New Reflection on Specialty Retail’s Future

Posted on January 23, 2018

Jessica Hische Speaker

Providing experiences, creating proximity with shoppers, engaging consumers. If you are evolving in the retail industry, you’re probably pretty familiar with these golden pillars. Yes, it’s true that these days retailers have to push the envelope and think outside the box in order to stay relevant and keep their shoppers interested.

With its new program “Today at Apple” which launched earlier this year, Apple is bringing the meaning of community to the next level. Using an innovative way of thinking called “imagination retail”, Apple’s creative teams put together a way to transform the in-store experiences of 495 Apple Stores around the world from a product-based to a people-based business. According to the article in Forbes, each of these Apple brick-and-mortar stores will be transformed during the process, to create a community hub bound by technology and personal connections.

“We’re creating a modern-day town square, where everyone is welcome in a space where the best of Apple comes together to connect with one another, discover a new passion, or take their skill to the next level. We think it will be a fun and enlightening experience for everyone who joins.

Angela Ahrendts, Senior VP Retail, Apple

The primary goal of these new concepts will be to promote connections between people so they can experience human interaction instead of simply going in a store for a product purchase. It will also allow and create natural bridges between tech-savvy consumers, and everyday users. With Millenials’ increasing purchasing power and the growing number of Baby Boomers who need and use technology but may require more assistance, “Today at Apple” will definitely bring a new sense of community to the shopping experience. It will also disable the fear of using new technologies for people who are less comfortable with certain types of innovation.


“Today with Apple” can definitely be seen as the real beginning of an essential retail revolution. From the products that people use, to the experience that changes people’s lives, Apple used innovation in a very creative and disruptive way: to increase shoppers’ perceived value of visiting brick-and-mortar’ stores.

A movement such as “Today with Apple” which involves a lot of resources, including financial ones, must be primarily lead by a good knowledge of consumers. As a central principle of lead management, consumers should always be the heart of every strategic decision that will be made to generate positive growth.

Do you have an excellent knowledge of your consumers? Do you know exactly what their needs are? Having a good understanding of shopper behavior will help you and your organization innovate and imagine new ways to increase engagement, conversion rates and ultimately increase profitability.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you identify opportunities to increase customer engagement, conversion rates, and store performance.