Brick-and-mortar retail sales predictably tumbled the week after Black Friday.
According to ShopperTrak, a market research firm that monitors retail foot traffic, sales fell 22.5 percent for the week ending Dec. 3, compared with the prior seven days ending on Black Friday.
Sales were essentially flat year over year, edging up just 0.2 percent.
ShopperTrak said the sharp decline is typical of the week after Thanksgiving, as shoppers often stay home and shop online for Cyber Monday deals following an initial burst of Black Friday activity. The effect was amplified this year by historic sales and traffic totals on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
“After the ‘Black’ weekend promotions play out, shoppers settle back,” ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin said. “They assess their holiday shopping lists and budgets, and over the next few weeks they will head back to stores in increasing numbers to finish shopping.”
Martin noted that Monday through Wednesday for each of the first two weeks after Thanksgiving historically have the lowest shopper traffic of the entire period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
To help counter the post-Black Friday lull — as well as a controversial
m-commerce promotion — Best Buy, among other retailers, mounted a pre-Christmas sales event earlier this month. The online-only promotion ran Dec. 8-10, and included such deals as a 60-inch 1080p Zenith plasma TV for $900, a 22-inch Samsung 1080p LED TV for $200, a 15.6-inch Samsung laptop with 4GB of memory and 320GB hard drive for $350, plus an assortment of free-with-contract 4G smartphones, all with free shipping.