I did NOT get out in the Black Friday chaos but the Associated Press reports that the number of customers visiting stores were up from last year as well as spending online. But there is one worry: Is everyone already done with their shopping?
“Holiday spending appears to be off to a respectable start, with shoppers crowding stores and malls in bigger numbers than last year on Friday and maintaining steady traffic the rest of the weekend.”
“Add in strong spending earlier in the month and robust sales online, and retailers are feeling encouraged. That’s particularly true because shoppers also scooped up fashion and other items for themselves, though mostly where they saw bargains. The question remains how many dollars shoppers are prepared to spend before Dec. 24 in an economy that’s still bumpy.”
“Discounts, particularly early-morning specials, were deep enough that many shoppers say they bought more than they had planned. But some say that means they’re done, and they spent less than last year….”
“Earlier buying in November also stole some sales away from the day, said ShopperTrak co-founder Bill Martin. But 2.2 percent more customers came into stores on Black Friday compared with the same day last year. The research firm tracks sales at stores in shopping malls, not big discounters like Wal-Mart and Target, which draw much Black Friday spending.”
“The National Retail Federation trade group estimated on Sunday that 212 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 195 million last year, according to a survey it conducts.”
“A fuller picture on spending will come Thursday when retailers report November revenue figures.”
“Online, spending rose more than 14 percent from Thanksgiving Day through Saturday, according to IBM’s Coremetrics. The average order rose 14 percent and the number of items per order grew 15 percent, fueled by shoppers taking advantage of deals on Black Friday.”
“Online research firm comScore Inc. reported late Sunday that online spending for the first 26 days of November rose 13 percent to $11.64 billion, compared with the same period a year ago. On Thanksgiving Day, traditionally a lighter day for online spending, e-commerce sales rose to $407 million, up 28 percent from the year-ago period. That was helped by more stores pushing exclusive deals. Online spending is still a relatively small piece of the holiday pie, between 8 and 10 percent by various estimates.”
“Clearly, shoppers’ approach to the holidays has shifted, shaped by the stores themselves. While Black Friday is expected to be the busiest day of the year, more spending was pulled forward as stores from Best Buy to Sears promoted discounts on holiday items earlier in the month, often pitching them as “Black Friday doorbusters” weeks before the real thing. More stores opened on Thanksgiving, too.”
” ‘You are going to have to look at the overall month, instead of just Black Friday,’ said Laura Gurski, retail practice leader at A.T. Kearney.”
I did shop on Saturday and Sunday and finished most of the kids’ stuff and Michael’s stuff. I still need to do my parents, my godmother, my Godson, Michael’s family and the teachers. (I bought my niece and nephew’s stuff a few months back.) We cut back last year and are spending even less this year.
So did you shop this weekend? Are you shopping today online? Are you done? Did you spend more or less than last year?
(I have two blogs up this morning. Check out a full listing for the ABC Family’s “Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas” so you can set your DVR!)