Department Store Holiday Spend in 2nd Half of November Down from 2013 Levels

Department stores have been less focused on holiday advertising this year, investing fewer funds in 2014 holiday-themed creative than they did last year. Their YTD holiday spending levels reached $192 million by Week 47 (ending November 30), down 13% from 2013 spending for the same period. In week 46 (November 17–23) department stores spent $37.6 million on holiday creative (down 19% from 2013). Week 47 (November 24–30) spending was also down from 2013 levels (by 14%) to $73.9 million.

Despite the YOY drop in expenditure, the week preceding Black Friday is still a priority for advertisers, with levels nearly twofold that of the previous week. With so many retailers pouring in ad dollars, it is difficult to stand out from the pack; despite a high investment in ad dollars, it is ultimately a retailer's share of voice that matters. While Walmart and Target still comprise more than half of all department store spend, other big retailers picked up their spending for Black Friday—and it's interesting to see which key players rose to the top.

Department Store Share of Voice

Department Store Share of Voice

JCPenney geared up for Black Friday, nearly tripling its holiday creative spend from $2.5 million to $12.1 million from weeks 46 to 47—enough to double its share of voice in department store advertising.

Though other advertisers upped their spend, it was not enough to elevate their share of voice in the category: Kohls doubled its spend from $3 million to $6 million between these two pivotal weeks, but due to the elevated spend by other players, it only maintained its share of spend but did not increase it. Macy's and Sears also invested more ad dollars week-to-week (by 39% and 58% respectively), but the retailers actually lost share of voice in relation to the other players. Kmart invested about same, but lost share. 

Search article