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News release

CHICAGO, IL

Retailers Aim to take the Hassle out of the Holiday Hustle, Starting with Black Friday

Retailers earn up to 40 percent of their annual sales on Black Friday. Pressure to woo shoppers heats up this holiday season


CHICAGO, Nov. 3, 2014 — The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year for shoppers, but pressure to perform may be crushing the spirit of retailers. This year, retailers are vying for a share of an anticipated $981 to $986 billion in holiday sales , and while that nearly $1 trillion-dollar figure may seem like there is enough holiday spending to go around, the sales projection represents a 4.5 percent increase at best, compared with last year.

New data from JLL’s 2014 Holiday Sentiment Report, which includes feedback from 800 largely national or global retailers in JLL-managed shopping centers across the United States, suggests retailers are optimistic about store performance, but fighting the “survival of the fittest” match.

A lot of what the match comes down to is enhancing the retail experience and making sure the holiday hassle doesn’t crush shoppers’ spirits. Approximately 70 percent of spending happens in the first two stores shoppers visit,   ushering in an earlier shopping season as stores try to use longer hours to get the first shoppers in their doors. Nearly one third of respondents to JLL’s survey indicated their stores will remain open on Thanksgiving Day, and it’s likely shoppers will see even earlier openings on Black Friday as retailers seek to accommodate early-to-rise, eager spenders.  

“If early openings, severe markdowns and blitz deals weren’t working, retailers wouldn’t still be doing them,” said Greg Maloney, President and CEO of JLL’s retail division. “To capture consumers this season, retailers are going beyond door-busters to prioritize shopping convenience through product distribution channels and customer service.”

Money is burning a hole in shoppers’ pockets faster this year, with 30 percent of consumers spending 50 percent of their total holiday budgets between November 28 and December 1 . Still, retailers will keep fighting until the very last minute, by offering special pricing and deals throughout the season. Stores offering the right combination of online and in-person shopping will satisfy today’s modern shoppers. JLL’s survey uncovered three strategies retailers will employee to woo consumers this season:

  1. Enhance Purchasing Ease: Good news for shoppers who want instant gratification without the hassle of hunting in-store, as nearly 40 percent of respondents indicated they will be offering both order-online and in-store pick-up services. Among JLL’s national brick-and-mortar clients, 10 to 15 percent of their online sales will be picked up in-store. 
  2. Convenience is Key: To compete with online merchants, more than one third of respondents said they will offer free shipping and/or ship-from-store to consumers during the holiday season, using back-of-the-house distribution facilities in their physical store locations. Reportedly retail giants Macy's and Bloomingdale's already adjusted their inventory systems to allow online customers to pick up purchases at the most convenient store. 
  3. Customer Service Matters: To provide customers a better experience, more than 95 percent of respondents indicated their staffing during the holiday season will remain the same or increase as compared to last year, with nearly 40 percent indicating they will increase their staffing by up to 15 percent.

“Our lives are getting busier and shopper expectations have changed profoundly, and you can guarantee that’s impacting how retailers compete this year,” said Karen Raquet, Director of National Retail Property Services at JLL. “We predict e-commerce will grow three times faster than overall sales during the next four years, and it will rise from six percent of total sales up to 12 percent by 2017. It is incumbent upon the retail industry to keep pace both online and offline, especially during this critical holiday season.”

By embracing an easy, experiential experience for holiday shoppers, both in-store and online, retailers’ will capitalize on the season of spending. Service, flexibility and purchasing options will make the difference in retailers’ success. For more information on holiday performance or how the retail industry is faring during this season, please download JLL’s 2014 Holiday Sentiment Report

JLL’s Retail Group serves as the industry’s leader in retail real estate services. The firm’s more than 850 dedicated retail experts in the Americas partner with investors and occupiers around the globe to support and shape investment and site selection strategies. Its retail specialists provide independent and expert advice to clients, backed by industry-leading research that delivers maximum value throughout the entire lifecycle of an asset or lease. The firm has more than 80 retail brokerage experts spanning 20 major markets, representing more than 100 retail clients. As the largest third party retail property manager in the United States, JLL’s retail portfolio has 305 centers, totaling 65.7 million square feet under management in regional malls, lifestyle centers, grocery-anchored centers, power centers, central business districts, transportation facilities and mixed-use projects.

For more news, videos and research from JLL’s Retail Group, please visit: www.jllretail.com.

About JLL
JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. With annual fee revenue of $4.0 billion and gross revenue of $4.5 billion, JLL has more than 200 corporate offices, operates in 75 countries and has a global workforce of approximately 53,000.  On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 3.0 billion square feet, or 280.0 million square meters, and completed $99.0 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2013. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $53.0 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit www.jll.com.