According to the National Retail Federation, 195 million shoppers visited stores and Web sites over Black Friday weekend, up from 172 million last year. However, the average spending over the weekend dropped to $343.31 per person from $372.57 a year ago. Total spending reached an estimated $41.2 billion.
“Shoppers proved this weekend that they were willing to open their wallets for a bargain, heading out to take advantage of great deals on less expensive items like toys, small appliances and winter clothes,” said Tracy Mullin, NRF president and chief executive officer. “While retailers are encouraged by the number of Americans who shopped over Black Friday weekend, they know they have their work cut out for them to keep people coming back through Christmas. Shoppers can continue to expect retailers to focus on low prices and bargains through the end of December.”
Shoppers’ destination of choice over the past weekend seemed to be department stores, with nearly half (49.4%) of holiday shoppers visiting at least one, a 12.9 percent increase from last year. Discount retailers took an uncharacteristic backseat, with 43.2 percent of holiday shoppers heading to discount stores over the weekend and another 7.8 percent heading to outlet stores. Shoppers also visited electronics stores (29.0%), clothing stores (22.9%), and grocery stores (19.6%).
“In an economy like this one, every retailer wants to be a discounter,” Mullin said. “Department stores have done an admirable job touting both low prices and good quality, which are important requirements for holiday shoppers on a budget.”
Meanwhile, 96.5 million Americans plan to shop online today—the Monday after Thanksgiving known as Cyber Monday, according to a survey conducted for Shop.org by BIGresearch. This compares to 85 million Cyber Monday shoppers last year.