Category Archives: Consumer Trends

Early Alert: Walmart leaks kids top choice toys and new layaway details

Walmart Top Toys Ad

Better early than never? Although it’s still August, the retail giant announced Walmart Toy Week offering a sneak-peek of their annual kids top choice where they survey thousand of kids to pick the top toys of the year (vetting the stuff kid’s really want for Christmas). Walmart has an assortment of these toy deals featured (some rolled back) as a pre-holiday purchase. The promotion could be a tactic to provide the retailer data as to which hot toy items they will insert into the huge list of Walmart Black Friday doorbusters. Some of the “chosen ones” include: Walmart Top Toys Ad

  • Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move Beatbo
  • Nerf N-Strike Mega Series RotoFury Blaster
  • Marvel RC Hulk Smash
  • Fisher-Price Little People Big Animal Zoo
  • Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Talking Doll and Care Clinic
  • LEGO DUPLO Creative Play Creative Animals Building Set
  • Playskool Sesame Street My Peek-a-Boo Elmo Toy
  • Disney Frozen Elsa Castle
  • Barbie Dreamhouse
  • Girl Scouts Deluxe Cookie Oven

Coincidence? 2 weeks ahead of 2014, Walmart is launching it’s annual holiday layaway program Friday, August 28. They have lowered the price of eligible items to $10 with a $50 minimum purchase, no fee to start a layaway account with 10% down. Layaway pick up deadline is Monday, December 14 and folks will have 90 days (up from 60) to pay for it.

These will lead up to the Friday, September 4 Force Friday event which will feature a fist glimpse of exclusive Star Wars merchandise to help promote the theatrical release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 18, 2015.

You can keep tabs on all Walmart deals, news and Black Friday ad leaks at and their popular money-saving blog.

#infographic – Wearables / Smartphones Spending Up


New consumer survey from reports 50% more wearables are expected to be purchased this year (thx #Applewatch), and half of American adults say they’ll buy a new smartphone at some point in 2015. Another interesting stat shows electronics purchases made with a mobile device expected to increase 21%, and 35% for Millennials. More fun info in the IG. You can grab the embed code at The Skinny, or click on the graphic.


Mobile Devices Infographic


You a Cheap Valentine? “Smart” Lovers Buck Up


“She loves me, she loves my texts”

Valentines-spending-bsWinning over your Valentine this year may just come down to a fat wallet, in that, choosing the right Valentine’s gift for her, or him, is a strategy that needs your attention. Charm and good looks might get you the date, but a well thought out gift can get you much more. Even a smartphone, as material and non-romantic as it sounds, will get you more love than those over-priced gas station chocolates and wilting grocery store flower bouquets. (see my quote in yesterday’s Marketwatch story, 5 truly awful Valentine’s Day gifts (thanks to Quentin Fottrell!!).

A recent survey reports that almost 4 in 10 actually want a smartphone for Valentine’s…at least it’s very high on their wish list. And why not? A new smartphone (we suggest a new model, perhaps these iPhone 6 deals, via FatWallet, will help you save a buck) can provide incredible ambience during a private candlelight dinner with romantic music (of course, there is a Romantic Music app), by the fire (via Fireplace Live HD app) and memories from that special V-day selfie hug you share directly to your Instagram app so your friends can be jealous of this “thoughtful” Valentine’s gift…and how romantically useful it was on that special occasion…and hopefully, many more to come.


Get Wired This Valentine’s Day: NBC News

Courtesy of NBC News (Jay Gray) A new survey from Ebates found 39% of people have smartphones as one of their most coveted Valentine’s gifts. (see video)

“Our preferences are changing as social media becomes an every day aspect of our lives, getting something like a smartphone is a little bit sexier than it used to be,” says’s Brent Shelton. “Candy and flowers still rank as the top Valentine’s gifts.”

PR Campaign notes. Pitched survey and Valentine’s Fun Facts (see infographic). NBC producer called for interview request, but setting up a camera crew to come in to was a bit of an issue. So we put the producer on speaker phone and shot the interview in-house. Then uploaded the broadcast quality files for NBC to download. Worked like a charm!


What to Buy in August: Survey Says Laptops

laptops 4 school

August Shopping News:  Student Laptop Deals Heat Up the Summer

“Laptops vs. Tablets? Which is it for your student and their back to school requirements? Better than 5 to 1, parents say laptops are better suited to help students learn than a tablet or desktop PC, according to a new survey from 4 school The deal site reports adequate laptops can be found much cheaper than tablets, and include more operating power, standard software applications and give parents the assurance of satisfying all students’ study needs. AND…they can find dozens of models under $250, readily available this summer. Parents also said Back to School sales, next to Black Friday, lend the best opportunities to find good deals on both laptops and tablets.

Note: Although newer tablets and 2-in-1 notebooks are becoming the new trend, they come at much higher prices ($499-899) and many require additional resources to compete with the usability of laptops. Plus, they may or may not qualify for student discounts where most laptop deals do (seek out $50-150 additional savings depending on store, brand and model w/student ID#).


See FULL RESULTS of Back to School Shopping Survey  and What to Buy in August 2014.

Americans Buy A Lot Of Tools [SURVEY]

A recent Tools Shopping Survey from says 8 in 10 surveyed (81%) buy new tools at least once a year (40% 2 or more times), 1/3 of males will buy tools until they run out of money (21% of females just need a screwdriver, hammer and duct tape) and 4 in 10 say best tool deals happen during Father’s Day Sales (twice as many as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and December Holiday Sales combined). See complete survey results at FatWallet.

Saving Money: What to Buy in May

monthlytrends-MAYMay is one of those months that presents consumers with ample opportunities to save money on a variety of products. It’s one of the best months for gift-shopping (Mother’s Day, graduations, weddings, showers and early Father’s Day)…as well as, the gifts we give ourselves prepping for family vacations and Memorial Day sales that bring some of the best big-ticket discounts of the year. The key is to know what you need (vs. want) and then start comparing sales and discounts as early as possible online before you hit the stores. Often you’ll find a better price online that stacks with cash back and free shipping or free in store pickup. Here is a quick list of items that will be discounted in May…or see What to Buy in May: Shopping Trends 2014 for more details:

Mother’s Day Sales:
Tablets, smartphones, laptops and kitchen gadgets, as well as clothing, flowers and deals on gift cards.

Summer Travel/Vacations:
Great time to book airfare and hotels for best rates and selection, look for vacation packages that include rewards savings (re: cash back adds up fast on bigger ticket purchases).
Note: New FatWallet Vacation Spending Survey says close to half plan to spend more than $1,500 on their next vacation.

Memorial Day Sales:
One of the best times of year to buy big ticket items for the home, especially mattresses, appliances and living room, dining room and bedroom sets. Also, look for great deals on home improvement and home repair products, including tools.
Note: In 2013, Memorial Day sales hit online about 7 days early when prices and selection were a little better than during the holiday weekend.

Find more information on consumer trends here, or follow or Twitter: @brentsheltonnow.

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