Woodbury, NY—The shopping season got off to its strongest start in years when consumers spent $11.4 billion on Black Friday, November 25, up 7% over last year, according to ShopperTrak, a Chicago-based research firm. It was the largest amount ever spent on that day and the largest year-over-year increase since 2007. ShopperTrak gathers data from 25,000 outlets across the United States, including individual stores and shopping centers.
Online shopping also showed strong gains, with a 24.3% increase in online spending on Black Friday, in advance of the recently established Cyber Monday online shopping tradition.
The results beat expectations of many retail experts who projected a smaller year-over-year increase due to the unstable economy. But door-buster sales, combined with early hour openings from some major retailers seemed to brighten the mood of shoppers looking for bargains.
Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak, said he was surprised by the strong showing but added that consumers across the country responded to a wave of strong promotions, some offering upward of 70% off regular pricing. “I’m pleased to see it. You can’t have a great season without having a good Black Friday,” Martin said in an interview with the Associated Press.
Sales were also up 4% in each of the two weeks leading up to Black Friday, as retailers are beginning their promotions earlier to create momentum leading into the holiday season. Overall, ShopperTrak is expecting sales to be up 3.3% this holiday season. shoppertrak.com