Monday Morning Quarterbacking Black Friday
By Tom Ryan
With doorbuster deals aplenty and seemingly 24-hour shopping options,
Black Friday 2010 delivered on the hoopla and, apparently, the revenues for
the retail industry.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), about 212
million shoppers visited a store or a website over Black Friday weekend, an
increase of 8.7 percent over last year. The average shopper spent $365.34,
up 6.4 percent, according to a survey of 4,300 consumers conducted by BIGresearch.
“It’s certainly encouraging to see an increase in traffic and
sales from the four-day holiday weekend, however, consumers still have concerns
about the economy, jobs, and paying down debt,” said Phil Rist, EVP,
BIGresearch, in a statement. “It was the consumers’ search for
deals and bargains that drove the weekend traffic rather than their confidence
in the economy.”
ShopperTrak said Black Friday sales figures for brick ‘n mortar
stores increased 0.3 percent with traffic ahead 2.2 percent. But the retail
traffic monitor maintained its forecast for a 3.2 percent increase in sales
this holiday season. It noted that the muted Black Friday results partly came
because figures for the first two weeks of November were unexpectedly strong
— rising about six percent year over year.
“Additionally, a percentage of retailers concentrated on pushing folks
to their websites with various online-only sales, which most likely influenced
Black Friday performance as well,” ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin said
in a statement.
Among some trends spotted over Black Friday weekend:
spending: The NRF survey found that shoppers are
in the mood to purchase more discretionary gifts this year. The number of people
who purchased jewelry over the weekend rose 14.3 percent, up from 11.7 percent
last year. More people purchased gift cards, toys and books and electronic
entertainment than a year ago.
Crazy hours: Sears, Kmart, Walmart, Toys “R” Us, Bass
Pro and several other stores opened some or all of their stores on Thanksgiving
in what members of the media entitled “Gray Thursday” or “Black
Thursday.” Many stores also pulled back their opening hours on Black Friday
Small Business Saturday: While the commercial success is unknown, the “Small
Business Saturday” promotion organized by American Express received a
bevy of media attention concerning the plight of independents — albeit not
as much as the coverage given to Black Friday doorbusters.
Value over deep-discounts: According to the NRF survey, both department
stores (52 percent this year vs. 49.4 percent last year) and clothing stores
(24.4 percent vs. 22.9 percent) saw healthy increases in traffic, while the
percentage of people who shopped at discounters declined 7.2 percent, from
43.2 percent in 2009 to 40.3 percent this year.
Online boom: According to Coremetrics, based on data from the sites
of more than 500 U.S. retailers, online sales were up 15.9 percent on Black
Friday, with the average order value rising about $20, from $170.19 to $190.80.
RetailWire also went out and about to do some unscientific tracking
of Black Friday traffic at malls in Florida and New Jersey. See more images
posted on the RetailWire Facebook page.
Discussion Questions: Did Black Friday weekend set the stage for healthy holiday
spending? What, if anything, do you think is different about how retailers and
consumers are approaching the holiday season this year?
- NRF: Black Friday Weekend Sees Bigger Crowds, $45 Billion in Spending – National
- Black Friday Retail Sales Increase A Slight 0.3 Percent As Compared To 2009;
Traffic Rises 2.2 Percent – Shoppertrak
- Black Friday Online Spending Delivers Double Digit Growth, Reports IBM – Coremetrics
- Black Friday sees online spending rise – CNET
- Store Traffic Rises 8.7 percent Over Black Friday Weekend – The Wall