Black Friday Roundup: Here’s What We Know So Far

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Let’s take quick survey of what we know so far regarding the (over-)hyped Black Friday.

The most commonly-cited statistics are coming from ShopperTrak, which hints at a fairly mediocre day with just 0.3% growth from last year. On the other hand, growth through the first half of November was 6.1%, suggesting retailers began their aggressive promotions earlier.

The traditional kick off to the holiday shopping season provided mixed messages to retailers as Black Friday sales showed a very slight increase over last year despite record spending for the day 0.3 percent increase versus the same period in 2009.  According to ShopperTrak, retail sales increased a very slight 0.3 percent versus last year with consumers spending $10.69 billion in various retail locations. Comparatively sales on Black Friday 2009 increased 0.5 percent versus Black Friday 2008, with $10.66 billion spent.

ShopperTrak’s data shows early holiday sales and door buster promotions impacted Friday’s performance as the company saw some unexpected strength in early November – as sales and traffic for the first two weeks of the month through Nov. 13 increased 6.1 and 6.2 percent respectively versus the same two week period in 2009.  ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin says this early boost could impact retail performance beyond Black Friday and into the weeks leading into Super Saturday.

Other groups have different numbers. The National Retail Federation is more positive-sounding regarding the whole weekend.

WSJ:

The number of people who shopped stores and online between Thursday and Sunday jumped 8.7% to 212 million shoppers, according to a National Retail Federation survey of 4,306 shoppers conducted by BIGresearch. The total amount spent during the four-day weekend reached an estimated $45 billion, with the average spending rising 6.4% to $365.34, the survey showed.

Here’s another bullish nugget:

As a sign that shoppers are more comfortable to spend beyond the basics, the number of people who purchased jewelry over the weekend rose substantially, from 11.7% last year to 14.3% this year, the NRF said, adding more people purchased gift cards, toys, and books and electronic entertainment than a year ago. The survey also showed men outspending women this weekend.

The full announcement from the NRF can be found here.

What about online-only?

This table from comScore is interesting. Thanksgiving-day sales grew WAY more than Black Friday sales:

Not surprisingly, Amazon crushed it again:

Also bear in mind that according to the Fed, Q3 e-commerce grew by 14% yoy, so the 13% gain in e-commerce sales through November so far is slightly below general growth. The following chart of YOY e-commerce growth rates gives a nice sense of the ongoing maturation of this sector.

As for some micro-impressions, Brian Sozzi at WStreet.com has published a good roundup of direct-from-the-mall observations.

Among the winners he observed: The Gap, Abercombie & Fitch, Urban Outfitters.

Losers: Bebe, Hot Topic, and various furniture stores.

Read more cool stories at Business Insider >>

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