I hope everyone had a magnificent holiday and somehow got through a weekend without my write-up. Whatever could you have read?
Before you ask, no, I don’t have any analysis to share on the deluge of sexual misconduct revelations dominating the news. Maybe someday I’ll study how this national awakening is impacting media, politics, and the overall social landscape, but now is not the time. Now I just need to listen – and condemn.
Here are a few less-disgraceful things we’re seeing right now:
Our streak of rising consumer confidence came to an end. It’s nothing to be alarmed about, as the dip we saw in our most recent Economic Sentiment Index was tiny. And it’s not even bad news for the holiday shopping season – the drag came mostly from attitudes toward the housing market and job market. Confidence in personal finances and major purchases both climbed nicely over the past two weeks.
Black Friday weekend was strong for retailers but the season is just warming up. I told you it would be good – surpassing both 2015 and 2016, which the NPD Group confirmed earlier this week. Still, even with an active Black Friday, our data show that 78 percent of shoppers have most, if not all, of their holiday shopping in the windshield. All good signs.
The gap between Night Owls and Morning People is shrinking fast. For as long as we’ve asked people to identify as either a “Morning Person” or a “Night Owl,” the latter represented a clear majority of Americans. In 2015, the ratio of Night Owls to Morning People was 62% to 38%. Today, the ratio is 56% to 44%, cutting the deficit between them in half. I honestly don’t know what’s causing it – though I share one possible theory below. It’s easy to think of some winners (coffee shops and morning news) and losers (bars and late-night TV), if the trend continues.
In possibly-related news: Millennials are drinking less – much less. We are by no means the first to discover this phenomenon, butthe supporting evidence in our data is overwhelming. Though more likely than older generations to have the occasional summer cocktail, Millennials are cutting back rapidly on wine, beer (especially craft beer), and spirits (both dark and clear varieties). I guess all of these teetotalers are going to bed earlier (out of boredom) and waking up earlier (to eat avocado toast), thus driving our Morning Person trend above.
Target’s partnership with Taylor Swift is a clear winner. No, I’m not writing about Taylor Swift to pander to all of you bait-clickers – it’s just a coincidence. But even as Swift’s popularity has waned in recent times, her favorability among both Target’s customers and non-customers remains solid. Why? Because, as our friends at Gartner use our data to explain, Swift’s brand is virtually “bullet-proof,” making her an uncannily safe partner for any brand that can afford her. Ok, so maybe that was click-bait. Gotcha!
Your Random (Really Random) Stat of the Week:
- 59% of people think the chicken came before the egg
- 41% of people think the egg came before the chicken
- Chicken people are more likely to be female, over 65, and rural-dwelling
- Egg people are more likely to be men, under 29, and city-dwelling
Hoping you’re well.
(A beer-wine-and-spirits-loving, Gen X Night Owl)