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CE Spurs Record Black Friday


Earlier store openings,
a bargain-hungry consumer and the lure
of deeply discounted TVs and laptops
contributed to the largest Black Friday
sales haul in history Thanksgiving weekend.

Americans spent a record $52 billion
from Thanksgiving through Sunday, or
$398.62 per shopper, a 9.1 percent increase
from last year, the National Retail
Federation (NRF) reported, while traffic
to stores and websites rose 6.6 percent
to hit an all-time high of 226 million visits.

Broken out by channel, 62.2 percent
of the total weekend spend took place
in brick-and-mortar stores and 37.8 percent
was transacted online, the trade
group said.

Black Friday proper was also one for
the record books. According to market
research firm ShopperTrak, sales at
brick-and-mortar stores rose 6.6 percent
the day after Thanksgiving to $11.4
billion, while foot traffic increased 5.1
percent from last year.

But despite criticisms of holiday commercialism,
many started their Black
Friday shopping even sooner thanks to
earlier store openings. Customers left
their Thanksgiving tables for an 8 p.m.
opening at Toys “R” Us, a 10 p.m. sale
at Walmart, and midnight doorbusters
at Best Buy and Target, among others.
According to the NRF, nearly onequarter
of Black Friday shoppers had hit
the bricks by midnight, compared with
9.5 percent in 2010 and 3.3 percent in

“The appetite for these early openings
is only getting stronger among holiday
shoppers, and retailers did a great
job providing Americans just what they
wanted this weekend – the ability to
shop on Black Friday without having to
get out of bed before dawn,” observed
Phil Rist, executive VP of NRF’s research
partner BIGresearch.

Adam Levin, CEO of Levin Consulting,
agreed. “Opening early was another
home run, maybe even a grand
slam. Consumers definitely liked the
idea of shopping at midnight.” Based on
on-site observations at more than 200
stores, Levin estimated that Best Buy
alone saw a 50 percent to 200 percent
increase in the length of its doorbuster
queues from last year, while hhgregg,
Target, Toys “R” Us, Kohl’s and other
major chains drew record crowds.

E-tailers also enjoyed an exceptional
turnout. According to market research
firm ComScore, online sales rose 26
percent to $816 million on Black Friday,
while Thanksgiving Day sales increased
18 percent to $479 million.

was the traffic leader on Black Friday,
with a 50 percent increase in visits
year over year, followed by





“Despite some analysts’ predictions
that the flurry of brick-and-mortar retailers
opening their doors early for Black
Friday would pull dollars from online
retail, we still saw a banner day for ecommerce,”
said ComScore chairman
Gian Fulgoni.