Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Consumer Sentiment Rises In December

From Counselor Magazine...Analysts are now forecasting the best holiday shopping season in four years as confidence, spending and expectations among consumers are all continuing to trend higher, according to a pair of new surveys. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment in December has risen to 74.2, reaching its highest point since June. Meanwhile, separate findings from a CNBC survey show 60% of Americans plan to spend more for holiday gifts this year, a 10% improvement compared to 2009.

With consumers' optimism increasing, the National Retail Federation is now predicting that November-to-December sales will rise by 2.3% this year, compared to 2009. The International Council of Shopping Centers recently said it expects December sales to improve as much as 3.5%.

"I would generally say that the core customer is absolutely back shopping," said Neiman Marcus CEO Karen Katz.

Believing the economy is strengthening, consumers are more likely to buy big-ticket items this year, data also shows. For example, one in six Americans expects to give or receive an Apple product, like an iPad or an iPhone. Only matched by Wal-Mart, electronics retailer Best Buy is now a top choice for purchases, with 48% of Americans saying they will spend money at a big box store this holiday season. Internet sales have reached watershed marks this year as well, with roughly 25% of consumers in the U.S. saying that shopping on the Internet is one of their top two choices for spending, the largest percentage ever.

Looking beyond December, data from the surveys shows 37% of Americans expect the economy will improve in 2011, while just 20% believe it will get worse. Optimism about wages is increasing, too, with workers expecting earnings gains of 2.1% in 2011, up from 1.3% a year ago. For the first time since 2007, the majority of Americans feel the value of their homes will rise in the next year as well.

Friday, December 10, 2010

HMC Incentives for 2011

Hasseman Marketing & Communications is excited to announce its sales incentive plan for 2011. HMC Account Executives have the opportunity to win an all expense paid trip to Jamaica for their sales efforts next year! It's going to be a great trip. Want more information? Keep reading!

Hasseman Marketing & Communications is looking to add dynamic, goal driven people to our sales team. Responsibilities include business prospecting, meeting with businesses to help create targeted marketing campaigns with promotional products, and servicing the client after the sale.

The position is straight commission and has UNLIMITED income potential! No promotional products sales experience is required. We will train the right person (or persons) in the industry. Veterans of the promotional products industry are welcome as well!

And now we have a fantastic incentive trip to add to your motivation! Any Account Executive that reaches $150,000 in sales with HMC in 2011 will win! If you are interested...now is a great time to join us!
We are only looking for the best. If you are interested in creating a business of your own and a career for your life, contact us today. (We currently have sales coverage in Coshocton, Muskingum, Licking, Tuscarawas, Holmes counties and are looking for Account Exectutives OUTSIDE of those areas).

If you are interested please email Kirby at kirby@hassemanmarketing.com

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Consumer Confidence Hits Five-Month High

Consumer confidence in November reached its highest point since June, easily beating analysts' forecasts and further lifting the hopes of retailers at the start of the holiday shopping season. The monthly index provided by the Conference Board showed consumer confidence climbed to a 54.1 rating last month, up from 49.9 in October.

"Expectations, the main driver of this month’s increase in confidence, are now at the highest level since May," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's research center. "Hopefully, the improvement in consumers’ moods will continue in the months ahead."

Along with an improvement in overall confidence, the Conference Board reports consumers are also slightly more upbeat about future job prospects. Those expecting fewer jobs in the months ahead declined to 19% from 22% in November, while 16% now believe there will soon be more employment opportunities. This optimism could be a precursor to actual growth, as a separate report last week showed 93,000 private sector jobs were added in November, the majority of them (54%) tied to small businesses. In the last nine months, small businesses have hired back 200,000 workers.

On the holiday shopping front, several major retailers, including JC Penney, Macy's and Abercrombie reported significant year-over-year November sales increases. On Black Friday weekend alone, shoppers spent $45 billion, focusing less on discounters and more on department stores and apparel shops.

Overall, the economy expanded at a 2.5% pace in the third quarter, more than first thought, according to a new U.S. Commerce Department report. Consumer spending rose at its highest rate in almost four years, while salary gains have been revised upward for the past two quarters.