”Black Friday” & ”Cyber Monday” Play Crucial Roles in Holiday Shopping Season According to BDO Seidman, LLP Survey of CMOs

CHICAGO–LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – According to a new study by BDO Seidman, LLP, one of the nation’s leading accounting and consulting organizations, the chief marketing officers of leading U.S. retailers estimate sales on “Black Friday” (November 23 this year) will account for 15.1 percent of their total holiday revenue in 2007. These same marketing executives also anticipate that online sales for “Cyber Monday,” the first Monday after Thanksgiving, will account for 12.3 percent of Internet sales this holiday season. They also project that more than one-fifth (21.3%) of their holiday sales will take place in the final week before Christmas.

“This year’s holiday survey of chief marketing officers demonstrates how ‘Cyber Monday’ has become the online equivalent of ‘Black Friday’ for America’s leading retailers,” said Doug Hart, a Partner in the Retail and Consumer Product Practice at BDO Seidman. “It also indicates that while retailers are dedicating a measurable proportion (14.8%) of their total marketing budget to driving Internet sales this holiday season, a majority of the retailers are not conducting any special promotions as they see the convenience of online buying as a sufficient incentive to purchase through this medium.”

These findings are from the most recent edition of The BDO Seidman Retail Compass Survey which examined the opinions of 100 chief marketing officers at leading retailers located throughout the country regarding their expectations of the 2007 holiday shopping season. The retailers in the study were among the largest in the country, excluding automotive dealers and restaurants, with revenues of more than $100 million, including 15 percent of the top 100 based on annual sales revenue. The survey was conducted in October of 2007.

Some of the major findings of The BDO Seidman Retail Compass Survey of CMOs:

Cyber Santas. According to CMOs, U.S. retailers are spending 14.8% of their total marketing budget on promoting Internet sales this holiday season, though a majority (59%) of retailers say they are not conducting any special promotions to encourage customers to buy online.
Online Promotions. Of those offering promotions (39%), a majority are providing reduced prices online (61%), free shipping (58%) and Internet exclusive items (53%). Of those offering free shipping, the average minimum purchase amount to qualify was $43.
Don’t Believe the Hype. There has been extensive media coverage regarding traditional businesses using social networking sites such as Facebook or Second Life for marketing purposes. Nevertheless, this new medium is largely off the radar of America’s leading retailers. Only four percent of CMOs report using social networking sites to market products to consumers.
Deep Discounts Abound. Almost three-quarters (73%) of chief marketing officers at leading U.S. retailers believe discounting and promotions will be more plentiful this holiday season compared to 2006 due to the current credit crunch.
The BDO Seidman Retail Compass Survey is a national telephone survey conducted by Market Measurement, Inc., an independent market research consulting firm, whose executive interviewers spoke directly to chief marketing officers, using a telephone survey conducted within a scientifically-developed, pure random sample of the nation’s largest retailers, excluding automotive dealers and restaurants.

BDO Seidman, LLP has been a valued business advisor to retail and consumer products companies for almost 100 years. The firm works with a wide variety of retail clients, ranging from multinational Fortune 500 corporations to more entrepreneurial businesses, on a myriad of accounting, tax and other financial issues.

About BDO Seidman, LLP

BDO Seidman, LLP is a national professional services firm providing assurance, tax, financial advisory and consulting services to a wide range of publicly traded and privately held companies. Guided by core values including, competence, honesty and integrity, professionalism, dedication, responsibility and accountability for almost 100 years, BDO Seidman provides quality service and leadership through the active involvement of its most experienced and committed professionals.

BDO Seidman serves clients through 35 offices and more than 300 independent alliance firm locations nationwide. As a Member Firm of BDO International, BDO Seidman, LLP serves multi-national clients by leveraging a global network of resources comprised of 621 Member Firm offices in 107 countries. BDO International is a worldwide network of public accounting firms, called BDO Member Firms, serving international clients. Each BDO Member Firm is an independent legal entity in its own country.

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