• Black Friday spending rose 0.5%, ($54 million), to $10.7 billion, this year from last year.
• Online sales up 17% (Thurs. to Sun.) over the same period last year.
• Cyber Monday up 11%, more than they did a year ago.
• Shoppers spent less per transaction: the average size of each sales ticket decreased nearly 14% from last year.
• Amazon.com and Walmart.com were the most visited online shopping sites.
This holiday season shoppers found deep discounts in a competitive Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Approximately 195 million shoppers, an increase from 172 million last year, either shopped at stores or online over the Black Friday weekend, typically the Friday, Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving. The National Retail Federation reports sales totaled $41.2 billion, up slightly from $41 billion reported during the four-day weekend last year.
This year’s so-called “Cyber Monday,” the first Monday after Thanksgiving, could be the biggest day of online retail sales, with sales estimated to exceed $900 million. Sales at Ebags.com were up 55.5% over last year. Overstock.com reported a 10% increase over its recent Black Friday record-breaking sales and Amazon.com reported a “busy day” as one of the top websites visited.
Retailers are closely watching sales this holiday season, as this is when most retailers make their profits for the year. High unemployment rates, job security and the current economy are challenges facing retailers in the coming month. Many retailers, with memories of last year’s gloomy season, kept inventory low and stocked their shelves with lower priced items. Stores are planning for promotions and discounts early in the season to lure customers to avoid having to offer deeper discounts to clear inventory at the last moment, which transpired last year.