Sunday, November 27, 2005

Black Friday. Sales Surveys are Mixed

Retailers must have been disappointed by sales on Black Friday. "Data from ShopperTrak showed Black Friday sales were down a slight 0.9 percent from a year ago to $8 billion. ShopperTrak said sales in the South were particularly good with the Midwest coming in second. Major retailers will release November results later this week ( CNN Money 11/26 )."

The data from ShopperTrak shows Black Friday sales down 0.9 percent from 2004. That is significant. Why? An increase in sales would be expected because of inflation and a growing population. According to poster Betamax:

It's interesting to read how the retail shills are now downplaying the importance of Black Friday as a predictive indicator, though obviously they'd be saying the opposite if sales were up.

As expected the retail interests played down the decline in sales ""While Black Friday is important to retailers, it's not always the best indicator for consumer shopping patterns during the remainder of the holiday season, which should allow the retail industry to continue feeling optimistic," said Michael Niemira, chief economist and director of research for the International Council of Shopping Center ( CNN Money 11/26 ),"

However, Visa said consumers charged up their credit and debit cards on Black Friday as total U.S. spending on Visa branded cards jumped 14 percent to $3.9 billion [from last year's Black Friday]. Does this mainly reflect a increase in sales or a change from other payment methods to Visa? [ Great more credit card debt. ]

The National Federation of Retailers reported that "The ceremonial kickoff to the holiday season began with a great deal of fanfare as 145 million shoppers flooded stores and the Internet hunting for popular electronics, clothing, and books. An NRF survey conducted by BIGresearch found that the average shopper spent $302.81 this weekend, bringing total weekend spending to $27.8 billion, an incredible 21.9 percent increase over last year'’s $22.8 billion."

"More than 60 million shoppers headed to the stores on Black Friday, an increase of 7.9 percent over last year. Another 52.8 million shopped on Saturday, a rise of 13.3 percent over 2004. The number of shoppers out today is expected to be close to last year, with about 22 million people shopping. NRF Press Release"

ShopperTrek says Friday sales were down 0.9 percent. The National Federation of Retailers said sales The NYTimes had this to report "Visa found that shoppers spent 24 percent more on electronics this Black Friday - a category ShopperTrak largely overlooks - while purchases at specialty retailers inside the nation's malls rose 16 percent. Consumers, Mr. Cohen said, "are clearly in the spending mood."

So how will the Christmas Season be for Retailers?

So far it is looking decent. Time will tell.

See my earlier posts.

Black Christmas [ where spending growth is less then inflation ]

Black Christmas II

* This post has been updated due to more information being available*


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. ems that beyond the media hype- thus far(retail sales) it has been rather lackluster. The 'postive spin' however continues at the major business sites- which are for the most part wrong, and have been wrong going bak 5 years.

  3. Yeah, I was wondering also if the news media was giving an accurate picture when they showed guys rushing for the Walmart laptops. That isn't really facts, just anecdotes.

    For my own anecdote, I went to Wheaton Plaza in suburban Maryland today. The mall is near some upscale areas, but not really upscale itself. Most of its clientele are middle or lower middle class, but the county is trying to tone it up by adding a Macy's and expensive boutique stores.

    The Macy's was nearly empty. the boutique stores were a little more full. Target was fairly full, but I've seen it like this before when it wasn't Christmas time.

    All in all, it didn't look bad but it didn't look like a big deal either.

  4. I live near Wheaton Plaza also. Thanks for the report.

  5. My buddy is a shopper and I'm not at all. So tonight I asked him what shopping was like in Orlando Friday and Saturday. He said there were a *lot* fewer people out than last year. He said that, for example, Target's parking lot, which was full a year ago, was only one-third full this time.

  6. As a followup, yesterday and today I grudgingly accompanied my wife on shopping forays and was very surprised at how little traffic is at the shopping centers and malls. I needed some slacks and dreaded going to the department store, but there were hardly any customers there and just about no one but myself and the sales people in the men's department.