Archive for the 'Consumer behavior' Category

Nov 26 2007

Black Friday sales data: what does it tell us about American consumers?

Holiday weekend retail sees big crowds, but no splurging – Nov. 25, 2007

Black Friday; a most interesting phenomenon of American culture. A day when consumer demand in retail product markets is at its strongest, the day after Thanksgiving when, still lightheaded from excess tryptophan and mashed potato intakes and an NFL overdose from the previous day, millions of Americans stumble full-bellied from their beds and flock to the malls and big box retail outlets of suburban America to give thanks to the gods of consumerism: Wal-mart, Target, JCPenny, Nordstroms, Macey’s… all the holy temples of our sacred religion open their golden gates to the hoards of consumption-crazed pilgrims, all hoping to pay tribute to their beloved deities with their almighty dollars.

Although deep discounts brought out much bigger crowds of holiday bargain hunters, a major retail trade group said Sunday that shoppers actually spent less money this year over the crucial Thanksgiving weekend.

The National Retail Foundation’s (NRF’s) 2007 Black Friday Weekend Survey said more than 147 million shoppers hit the stores over the Black Friday weekend, up 4.8 percent from last year.

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Oct 26 2007

SAS Economists Podcast #5 – What does the Caramel Frappuchino mean to Starbucks?

by Caleb Liao and Drew Venkatramen

Just how important is the caramel frappuchino to Starbucks? This podcast will explore the demand for a particular product from the ubiquitous coffee chain, a new branch of which has recently been opened across the street from Shanghai American School.

SAS students overwhelmingly favor the sweet, caramel goodness of the beloved Frappuchino, but how much would they really be willing to pay for already the steeply-priced beverage. At its market price of 32 kuai, customers seem to arrive in droves from the SAS campus; but could Starbucks do better by charging a higher price? What if they lowered the price, would it make a difference in their revenues? This podcast explores the market for the crowd’s favorite coffee beverage, the caramel frappuchino, and tries to learn something about demand, elasticity, and firm behavior in the process!

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Oct 20 2007

SAS Economists Podcast #2: Determinants of demand for Starbucks vs. The Coffee Bean

By Claire Moon and So Yeon Yoon

For our second installment of the SAS Economists Podcast, Claire and So Yeon survey 55 students to discover what determines where they prefer to get their coffee fix in the Shanghai neighborhood of Gubei. They discover through their research that consumers base their decisions on a variety of reasons, and that price, while important, is not the only factor that determines which particular products consumers will purchase. Location, tastes, size of the market, and various other factors all play a role in consumer’s decisions between two alternatives in a competitive market like that for coffee in Gubei, a trendy neighborhood with no shortage of coffee outlets.

Click below to hear this excellent and enlightening investigation into consumer behavior and the determinants of demand for coffee in modern Shanghai!


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