The headline on the front page of this morning’s USA Today read, “Men Shop Early in Rush for Bargains.” According to the National Retail Federation, men outspent women by 38% over this holiday weekend, busting open the myth that only women shop on Black Friday weekend.
If you look at the black-and-white facts, men spent an average of $420.37 vs. $304.30 for women.
But it’s those gray areas I wonder about.
- Where did men spend their money? Electronics stores. The combination of new gaming systems, price drops on big ticket items like plasma TVs, and stores opening at midnight with steep, time-limited discounts brought guys out in droves.
- Is this really holiday shopping? All of the TV newscasts I watched over the weekend (including live feeds from Best Buy) exhibited that many men were there to buy for themselves.
- When a man did admit to holiday shopping, he almost always had a woman by his side. He may have made the actual purchase with his credit card, but the female shopping influence was an important contributing factor.
Surveys like this are questionable. For a blurb on CNBC or in USA Today, it’s OK. But extenuating circumstances need to be taken into account as well.
Just a word of warning to those who live and die by surveys like this one... remember to always peek around the corner of facts and figures to see the gray shadow of truth behind them.