NEW YORK, Nov. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Convergex, an agency-focused global brokerage firm, has released the results of its Black Friday Factor Survey, exploring financial industry sentiment about the 2014 holiday shopping season, and the significance of Black Friday sales figures as indicators of the health of the retail sector and broader U.S. economy. The survey was conducted from November 18 to November 20, 2014.
More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents expect 2014 Black Friday sales figures to grow at least 2% from their 2013 levels, with more than one-third (37%) expecting growth of 4% or more. Similarly, almost three-quarters of respondents (71%) say they expect total holiday season sales numbers to grow at least 2%, with 39% of respondents predicting a gain of 4% or more.
Investors believe Black Friday sales data are a strong indicator of the health of the economy and the retail sector and not just "hype." Seventy-four percent (74%) said Black Friday is a strong or very strong indicator of the health of the retail sector, and majorities believe it is a strong or very strong indicator of the health of the overall economy (51%) and the health of individual retailers (59%). Only isolated respondents identified Black Friday as "hype" when gauging the overall economy (3%), the retail sector (2%), or when evaluating individual retailers (1%).
"Wall Street is ready for a great holiday season," said Nicholas Colas, Convergex chief market strategist. "Our respondents are overwhelmingly calling for growth in Black Friday sales, and they believe in the continued importance of these numbers as a window into retail and the wider economy."
Financial industry professionals expect 2014 to be a big year for E-commerce, with 60% identifying online retailers as the fastest-growing shopping venue for this holiday season, followed by Warehouse Stores (13%) and Department Stores (11%). Respondents identified electronics (38%), computers and tablets (22%) and phones (16%) as the product categories that will perform best versus last year.
Wall Street professionals say they will be contributing to a successful holiday shopping season themselves: in the first-ever "Convergex Wall Street Gift Index," respondents say they plan to spend an average of $900 this year on gifts for their spouses or significant others.
"This is a survey of big numbers for both Main Street and Wall Street," said Colas. "When you combine significant year-on-year growth for retail, spurred by electronics and e-commerce, and big presents for loved ones at home, you're describing a very happy holiday both personally and professionally."
For more information on the Convergex Black Friday Factor Survey, click here.
A Strong Indicator
How strong of an indicator are Black Friday sales to…
Health of the economy overall?
- Very strong/strong – 51%
- Neutral – 39%
- Weak – 7%
- Very Weak (it's all "hype") – 3%
Health of the retail sector?
- Very strong/strong – 74%
- Neutral – 19%
- Weak – 5%
- Very Weak (it's all "hype") – 2%
Health of individual retailers?
- Very strong/strong – 59%
- Neutral – 33%
- Weak – 7%
- Very Weak (it's all "hype") – 1%
A Happy Holiday
How do you think this year's Black Friday sales figures will compare to last year's?
- Up 2% or more – 69%
- Up less than 2% – 17%
- Flat – 9%
- Down – 6%
How do you think this year's total Holiday Season sales figures will compare to last year's?
- Up 2% or more – 71%
- Up less than 2% – 18%
- Flat – 7%
- Down – 3%
Rise of the Machines
What retail category will perform the best this Holiday Season compared to last year? Key findings:
- Electronics (TV/Audio/Video) – 38%
- Computers/Tablets – 22%
- Phones – 16%
- Apparel/Footwear – 10%
- Toys/Games – 5%
What retail venues will perform the best this Holiday Season compared to last year? Key findings:
- E-commerce – 60%
- Warehouse Stores – 13%
- Department Stores – 11%
- Discount/Outlet Stores – 7%
- Mail Order/Catalog – 6%
The Convergex Black Friday Factor Survey was performed by Convergex via an online survey of financial industry participants, resulting in 276 respondents. The survey was conducted from November 18 to November 20, 2014, and has a margin of error of +/- 10% and a confidence level of 90%. Respondents included buy-side firms (asset managers, hedge funds), sell-side firms (banks, broker-dealers), trading venues, service providers and other financial industry participants. Rounding of decimal results may produce totals over or under 100% (by 1-2%). On one question ("How much will you spend on gifts this Holiday Season for your spouse/partner/significant other?"), zeroes and an outlier high response were not included in calculations.
Convergex is an agency-focused global brokerage firm that takes on the industry's toughest challenges, from complicated trades to complex businesses. With clients' interests as the top priority, Convergex delivers comprehensive solutions that span global high-touch and electronic trading, options technologies, prime brokerage, clearing, commission management and beyond. Headquartered in New York with a presence in several other locations including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Orlando, San Francisco and London, the company serves nearly 3,000 clients accessing over 100 global market centers.
Convergex provides brokerage services primarily on an agency basis, but may operate in a riskless principal and/or net trading capacity, and in connection with certain ETF or ADR transactions, may act as principal or engage in hedging strategies with such transactions. Convergex does not engage in market making or investment banking activities, other than as a selling group member.
In the U.S., Convergex offers products and services through Convergex Execution Solutions LLC (member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC), of which Convergex Prime Services is a division; LiquidPoint, LLC (member CBOE/SIPC); G-Trade Services LLC (member FINRA/SIPC); Westminster Research Associates LLC (member FINRA/SIPC); Convergex Depositary, Inc., and Convergex Solutions LLC, of which Connex, Jaywalk and LDB are divisions.
In London, Convergex operates through Convergex Limited, which is incorporated in England and Wales (registered with company number 06262150). Convergex Limited is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom.
The material, data and information (collectively "Convergex Information") that is available from Convergex is intended for institutional investor use only; is for informational purposes only; is subject to change at any time; is not intended to provide tax, legal or investment advice; and does not constitute a solicitation or offer to purchase or sell securities. Convergex Information is believed to be reliable, but Convergex does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. Clients should read their agreement with Convergex carefully as it contains important information and disclosures about the product or service covered by it. (11/18/14)
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