Several restaurants are offering sweet deals today for Halloween. Here’s a few I’ve found:
Sonic drive-in restaurants have 50 cent corn dogs all day.
Visit Chipotle in costume today from 4 p.m.-close and get a burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos for $2.
P.F. Chang’s will take 20% off any online order through today with the promotion code GHOULS or GOBLINS.
All four Dick’s Sporting Goods in the metro area will have grand openings starting Friday, Nov. 2. The stores are in Moore on SW 19, in Oklahoma City at N Pennsylvania Avenue and Memorial Road, SW 3 between Rockwell and MacArthur and in Midwest City in Town Center Plaza, north of Interstate 40 at Air Depot. The retailer hasn’t officially announced plans for the grand openings yet, but they typically include sports celebrities and giveaways.
Here’s a funny for your Friday. A recent survey by Lands’ End Business Outfitters uncovered some of the worst gifts received in the workplace. I hope these were gag gifts for a white elephant gift exchange, but who knows.
From business partners: a juicer with 50 pounds of carrots, a bendable Ben Franklin figure, a lint brush, a toilet plunger decorated in Christmas items, a 1-foot long fat pencil, a pair of thermal underwear, battery powered back scratcher, pickled cabbage, pork rinds, toothpick with magnifier and blinking reusable ice cubes.
From bosses: a 4-foot stuffed plush panther, a book on how to manage employees, snowflake sunglasses, a paperweight, medical scrubs in a dark evergreen color, a clock made from a tool, venison sausage to a vegetarian, a fake flower arrangement, dice, homemade meatloaf, a 12 lb. frozen turkey with price tag indicating it was $0.13 per pound, leg warmers, lingerie, potholders and wrapping paper.
So what do employees actually want? Of respondents, 27% said gift cards, 25% said clothes, 22% said food, 17% said a holiday cash bonus, 13% said padfolios/writing instruments and another 13% said drinkware. No surprises there. What’s the worst gift from a boss you’ve ever received?
The spending frenzy is about to begin, and a new survey found more than half of consumers plan to spend $500 or more on Christmas gifts this year, slightly higher than in 2011. When asked when the season’s best deals will occur, 33% said the Thanksgiving holiday, 28% said Black Friday, 23% said the month of December and 16% said Cyber Monday.
Plastic will be the payment of choice for most shoppers. Sixty percent of survey respondents said they’ll use credit cards to pay for holiday purchases this year, while 53% plan to use savings. Thirteen percent are counting on a bonus check at work, 11% said layaway and 9% said gift cards.
The survey was conducted by PriceGrabber, an online price comparison website, and included answers from 2,235 online shoppers from August 31 to Sept. 12, 2012.
Black Friday is six weeks away, but we’ve started seeing the first of the store advertisements. Seriously. Today, the Harbor Freight Tools ad was posted to bfads.net, which is one of the popular websites to find Black Friday ads. So if you drool over tool deals, check it out here. Harbor Freight Tools has stores in Oklahoma City at 5805 W Reno and Norman at 151 12th Ave. SE.
Retail Means Jobs, Retail Means Votes is the theme of the National Retail Federation’s new web page, which tackles issues affecting retailers, such as health care, swipe fees and sales tax fairness.
“With an election largely centered on the economy and jobs, it’s important to make sure America’s 3.6 million retailers and their employees know what’s at stake for the industry,” said National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Retail supports one in four American jobs, generates a quarter of GDP, and is at the foundation of the consumer-based economy.”
Rather than persuade voters to choose one candidate or another, the non-partisan website aims to educate people on the issues and make their own decision – then vote! Check it out here.
So I’m feeling pretty good about my decision to start holiday shopping already after reading this Wall Street Journal story and watching the video. They had a research firm track product prices and found the best deals occur throughout the year – not on Black Friday. Their advice: stay home. But in my five years covering retail for The Oklahoman, I’ve found Black Friday is not really about the deals, it’s a social event. Shoppers bond with family members crazy enough to come with them and strangers in line about the cold, the must-have item, and the turkey dinner they just inhaled to essentially tailgate in front of a store. It’s fun. Already making Black Friday plans this year? Email me for an upcoming story.
The National Retail Federation on Tuesday released its most optimistic holiday sales forecast since the recession. The group predicts retail sales to rise 4.1 percent this year to $586.1 billion. Last year, retail sales rose 5.6 percent.
Indicators such as consumer confidence, consumer credit, disposable personal income and previous monthly sales are used to make the prediction. Weather is a wild card and could also impact sales, says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist for the federation.
Also in the report:
Online sales are predicted to increase by 12 percent to as much as $96 billion;
Seasonal employment is expected to remain steady, with retailers hiring between 585,000 and 625,000 workers this holiday season (compared to 607,500 last year.)
Have you heard this? IKEA is planning to build a store in Merriam, Kan., near Kansas City. I am bummed about this for two reasons. 1) It’s not any closer to Oklahoma City than Dallas is and 2) this probably means IKEA will never come to Oklahoma. Boo hoo.
According to a Sept. 16 post on seekingalpha.com, the news that Michael Kors is coming to Oklahoma (Tulsa, before we broke the story of the store opening in Penn Square Mall) means the retailer has maxed out his expansion. Michael Kors Holdings Limited has gone from 177 stores to 253 over the last 12 months, ending June 30.
“…once a store reaches Oklahoma City or Tulsa, it has typically hit the end of the road regarding significant expansion into new states,” the author says.
Seeking Alpha says Oklahoma is typically in the last 10 states retailers reach due to its location, and the last five or so states have such a small population, retailers don’t even bother. Is Oklahoma the end of the road? What do you think?