Retail Forecast – We’re talking tech, TV, and fashion


WHAT’S HOT – Google (with 74.5% rating it “hot”) bests Bing (39.5%) in the battle of search engines.  And, while FlashForward is highly rated among consumers overall, Community has found a niche with young men and young women enjoy The Vampire Diaries. That same female 18-34 demographic declares plaid clothing and over-the-knee boots as on-trend this season. 

What’s Not?  – While one in four (27.9%) admits to loving Snuggies, this figure-obliterating, Gumby-like fleece sack is particularly out of favor with men…wonder why?

Step into the WABAC machine and recall one year ago…the financial markets, consumers, et al were reeling from the mid-September downfalls of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and AIG.

In early October 2008, BIGresearch asked 8,000+ consumers how confident they were in the strength of the U.S. economy…19.0% replied they were confident/very confident, down nearly 58% from the 2007’s 44.8%.

So now that the stage has been set, how is consumer sentiment shaping up this month? With unemployment drawing closer to 10% and consumers still skeptical about economic recovery rumblings, fewer than a third (30.4%) feels confident/very confident in chances for a strong economy, relatively flat with last month (29.8%) and not a very merry sign for retailers headed into a critical holiday season. 


One can glean good news from this month’s report…in October, about one in five (22.4%) continues to worry about political and national security issues, up less than a point from September (21.6%), and down a full 27% from a year ago (30.8%).

But as Holiday ’09 quickly approaches (or arrives for some early-bird retailers), consumers are still indicating they are adhering to a conservative spending mantra…nearly half (48.8%) say they’ve become more practical/realistic in their spending, down a point from September (49.7%) and only three points from 51.7% in October ’08 (the first post-banking crisis reading).

While little Johnny might have a Blu-ray on his wish list, it appears that Santa will be bringing blue jeans instead…with less than three shopping months left, the majority of consumers (56.0%) are focused on needs over wants when spending, unchanged from September (56.1%) and declining two points from a year ago (57.8%). Back in a less tumultuous October ’07, fewer than half (47.1%) spent in this mindset.

RBR-TVBR observation: So what does this mean for you at your Radio or TV station? Get your sales and programming staff together to develop just 3 ideas in your local retail marketing plan on how best to serve your clients by:

1. Ask the retailer/advertiser what their first area of help they need to bring traffic into their door. They will lead you down the path where your programming department can create content and get the advertiser integrated in this content. Why do you think the home shopping networks are so successful or the infomercials sell product.

2. Today on air staffs can no longer do their air shifts and leave. They must become daily partners and hit the street with video for your websites by becoming spokespeople with the advertiser. It is taking the live read commercial, going to the retailer and doing the video.

This especially goes for TV stations and your on-air talent. Get them on the street for a meet and greet the advertisers – film it. So get those so called anchors out of their chair and on the street.

3. Something for every client approach – no matter how small or large. Be flexible in pricing because when you examine all forms of inventor content from on-air to your website there is a place to help advertisers. 

Webinar invite: Learn about what you have just read  and – Join the BIGresearch & RBR/TVBR for our monthly The BIG Call webinar: Consumer Insights & Analysis in 30 Minutes   Friday, October 23rd at Noon EDT
Register here for this complimentary webinar and prepare to listen, learn, and make money period!

Recommendation – Media Generations –This is a great Sales Retail Training book-retail training guide. Every station should have this on every sales person’s desk.  And also give copies to your best retail clients.

Order your copies of Media Generations at a special RBR/TVBR discount of 20% off the cover price of $18.95, click and enter the following discount code: FH2T4Q5J.

(source: BIGresearch is a consumer intelligence firm providing analysis of behavior in areas of products and services, retail, financial services, automotive and media. More information is available at