The results are in
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), this long holiday weekend saw a rise in the number of shoppers this year, but the total spending was down, despite major retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day, edging Black Friday closer and closer to the actual Thanksgiving Day holiday. The ploy worked to get traffic in the stores, with a record 141 million people shopping in stores and online during the four day weekend.
Combining thanksgiving and Black Friday sales, the holiday brought in over $57.4 billion over the weekend, down 2.9 percent. The NRF reports that sales are down for the first time in seven years since they began tracking the metric.
Spending is down, but why?
The average shopper spent $407.02, down 3.9 percent from 2012. But wouldn’t that be because sales are in full force? Possibly.
Brian Sozzi, CEO and chief equities strategist at Belus Capital Advisors, told the AP, “The economy spoke loud and clear over the past few days. We are going to see an increase in markdowns,” which consumers expect in light of a continued economic struggle.
Not all bad news
It’s not all bad news, however, as the Federation also predicts that sales for November and December combined will increase 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion, after increasing 3.5 percent last year.
Reportedly, this spending accounts for up to 40 percent of retailers’ total revenue for the year, so two years of overall improvement is welcome news.
The rise of the web
Another relevant statistic is that nearly half of all shoppers went online on Black Friday, while traffic at brick and mortar stores was actually down 11 percent on that day alone, according to analytics firm, ShopperTrack. The role of the web is increasing, so many are withholding judgment until the close of Cyber Monday to determine the full impact of the shift to the web.