Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘santa claus

Santa’s Virtual Elves

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I’ll be jetting off to Singapore early in the A.M. for the IBM InterConnect event, where I’ll be both blogging and broadcasting (via LiveStream and YouTube), interviewing a variety of IBM execs, partners, and clients.

Tune your TweetDeck now to hashtag #ibminterconnect to keep track of the festivities.  The event officially kicks off next Tuesday, October 9th.

As I was scanning my newsfeeds to catch up on what I’ve been missing all day while preparing for all those interviews, I saw that Facebook reached 1 billion users, although some of their recent moves, including the alteration of their algorithm to minimize brand page posts being seen by those who have opted in to “liking” that page, may start sending those numbers due south.

I also discovered that Microsoft is slated to launch its new Surface tablet at midnight on October 26th.

Midnight?  Really??  You guys couldn’t come up with something more original than that? 12:15, maybe? Or 12:30, even?

Sorry, dudes, I’m all tabletted out, although I will be keeping an eye on the horizon to see what gives with the iPad Mini.

Speaking of holiday shopping, the National Retail Federation released some important holiday shopping forecasts earlier this week that bear sharing.

The NRF’s 2012 holiday forecast expects sales will increase this season by 4.1 percent ($586.1 billion), well above the 10-year holiday average, but behind the 2011 season of 5.6 percent.

To which I say, “Bah, Humbug.” I do most ALL my holiday shopping online, so I’ll be doing my personal best to get those numbers up.  And I expect to pick up a few IBM “Smarter Commerce” tricks of the trade at the sessions next week in Singapore, which I’ll share.

Although I am inclined to show up on Black Friday to run at Wal-Mart with the mortar shopping “bulls!” Nothing like a little full contact holiday shopping, taking down a few eager shoppers to grab that last “Tickle Me Elmo!”


All these holiday tidings come just ahead of today’s news by Thomson Reuters, which reported that back-to-school sales growth slowed in September after “a strong August,” according to The New York Times “Economy” section.

Little Johnny don’t need no more pencils, Mom.  Get in line and buy that kid a Nexus 7!

But the story doesn’t end there.

AlixPartners’ Joel Bines is also quoted in the story as saying this doesn’t necessarily bode badly for the holiday shopping season, as no “conclusive” ten-year correlation between back-to-school and holiday sales seems evident.

As for me, as I fly Eastward, I’m going to have to start giving some serious consideration to my own Christmas holiday shopping list for Santa.

Of course, I’ve been extremely bad this year, which is par for the course, but hey, it never hurts to ask!

Next stop, Singapore, where I hope NOT to participate in any caning demonstrations.

But keep an eye out on YouTube just in case.

White Christmas

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Here comes Santa Claus, Here Comes Santa Claus, right down Best Buy lane!

I made a quick visit to Best Buy today at lunch to look at electronic wares after I saw the news from an IBM analytics-based forecast that said holiday sales of consumer electronics and appliances in U.S. retail stores are expected to get an early start this year, and that consumers would spend a larger-than-usual share in November, the penultimate month before the race begins through stores in December for holiday shoppers.

Proven to be accurate to 99 percent, the forecast relies on 19 years of historical data and sophisticated analytics software developed by IBM to analyze both long-term trends and seasonal peaks.

IBM consultants use these predictive techniques to help clients improve performance by addressing complex issues of supply and demand. These techniques also aid clients in planning product mix and new store locations.

According to the forecast, sales of consumer electronics and appliances are predicted to total $10.164 billion this November, representing a four percent increase over November 2009. Consumer electronics is expected to total $8.688 billion with appliances coming in at $1.476 billion.

In December, sales of consumer electronics and appliances are predicted to total $13.800 billion, representing a four percent increase over December 2009. The December 2010 forecast breaks down as follows: $12.197 billion for consumer electronics and $1.603 billion for appliances.

Especially important is the forecast’s analysis of the change in sales from month to month, a strong predictor of relative strength.

This year, the sales momentum going from October into November is expected to be much stronger than in previous years, while the momentum from November to December is forecast to be weaker than in the past.

Momentum Index: U.S. Retail Electronics and Appliance Sales

This chart illustrates the relative strength of U.S. retail electronics and appliance sales in November and December during the years 2001 to 2010. The trend shows that in recent years, November sales are becoming relatively stronger at the expense of December sales. The bars represent the percentage increase in sales for November and December over the previous month.

“The forecast indicates that retailers should be ready for a robust Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” said Global Business Services partner and IBM retail analytics leader Michael Haydock, referring to the Friday and Monday following Thanksgiving. “Retailers that staff up and stock up for November and invest in advertising are likely to have a substantial advantage in the marketplace.”

Following is the month-to-month breakdown of the November/December forecast for consumer electronics and appliances (numbers in billions):

Retail electronics and appliances

November December 2-month total
2008 (actual) $10.129 $13.639 $23.768
2009 (actual) $9.754 $13.252 $23.006
2010 (forecast) $10.164 $13.800 $23.964

Following is the month-to-month breakdown for consumer electronics only (numbers in billions):

Retail electronics

November December 2-month total
2008 (actual) $8.671 $12.041 $20.712
2009 (actual) $8.289 $11.687 $19.976
2010 (forecast) $8.688 $12.197 $20.885

Following is the month-to-month breakdown for appliances only (numbers in billions):

Retail appliances

November December 2-month total
2008 (actual) $1.458 $1.598 $3.056
2009 (actual) $1.465 $1.565 $3.030
2010 (forecast) $1.476 $1.603 $3.079

Haydock noted that disposable income, as reported by the U.S. Commerce Department is on the rise, as is the household savings rate, perhaps indicating pent-up consumer demand.

In producing the forecast, IBM uses economic data gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau. T

he data is derived from a survey of retail store establishments engaged in electronics and appliances as their major line of business.

These store establishments are a representative sample and are not inclusive of all industry activity in this category. Products include TVs, cell phones, personal computers and tablet computers, radios and stereos, refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, and other devices.

For more information, visit www.ibm.com/gbs/bao.

And don’t forget to be nice to Santa!

Written by turbotodd

October 21, 2010 at 11:42 pm

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