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Stores lure in customers with 'entertainment shopping'

Skaters attend JC Penney's "Holiday Giving Tour Kick Off" at Bryant Park on November 27, 2012 in New York City.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us, today two movements are competing for your allegiance. Depending on whom you ask, today is either Giving Tuesday, when you are supposed to donate to charity, or it is Mobile Tuesday, when you are supposed to buy stuff using your smartphone.

In any case, so far this holiday season average spending is up -- about six percent per shopper. "The consumer isnt stewing over jobs and taxes and the economy, what they want are deals and they are getting very smart about it," says Juli Niemann of Smith Moore & Company.

In the fight against ever encroaching online retailers, brick-and-mortar stores are going all out this season to draw in consumers. "This is entertainment shopping. JC Penney has a toboggan run in Dallas, a blimp dropping gifts in Tennessee, an ice rink in New Orleans," says Niemann.

About the author

Juli Niemann is executive vice-president for research and portfolio management with Smith, Moore and Company.

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