How Big Was Black Friday?
11/28/2011 4:06 PM
The turkey has been cooked, Thanksgiving dinner has been eaten and the Christmas shopping frenzy has officially begun. So, as the dust settles on Cyber Monday, how did this Black Friday weekend measure up?
Well, let’s start with the record breaking weekend sales. A National Retail Federation survey on Sunday found that a record 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites over "Black Friday" weekend, up from 212 million last year. The total spending for the weekend reached an approximate $52.4 billion versus $45 billion spent during the same amount of time last year. Where was everyone shopping? According to the National Retail Federation, nearly half of the shoppers surveyed visited department stores, with about 38% percent of shoppers also visiting discount retailers and a little over 30% visiting electronic stores.
To continue to brighten the weekend report, research firm comScore reported that online spending jumped 26% on Black Friday, compared with the same day a year ago. (Another researcher, IBM Corp.'s Coremetrics unit, reported a smaller online spending gain for Black Friday; Coremetrics reported a 20 percent increase, compared with comScore's 26 percent.)
The good news doesn’t end here; last year’s Cyber Monday sales hit $1 billion dollars and after this weekend’s record breaking spending, most expect another day of the same.
So what does this mean? The weekend spending provides a glimmer of hope. The increased spending is a sign that the economy is getting – slightly – better, with the average spending for the weekend rising to $398.62 per person from $365.34 a year ago per shopper. Wall Street also opened higher this morning with investors celebrating a strong start to the holiday season. Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of U.S. economic activity and Wall Street appreciated some positive news.
On the Small Business Saturday side, how did your small business fair? Huntington’s Main Street was packed with shoppers not just Saturday but all weekend and I certainly hope that shoppers keep the idea going of shopping small. Remember that 2 out of 3 jobs added each year are created by small businesses, according to the SBA. So let’s keep Small Business Saturday near and dear to our hearts as we embark on the rest of our Christmas shopping! And don’t forget to tell us how your small business did this weekend.