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NRF: Black Friday Shopping Numbers Reach Historic Highs

Black Friday traffic and spending was up substantially from last year both online and in stores, according to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGresearch over the weekend. According to the NRF, Black Friday results reached “historic highs,” with a record 226 million shoppers in stores and online over the Black Friday weekend, up from 212 million last year.
Total spending for the weekend was estimated at $52.4 billion. According to the survey, the average shopper spent $398.62 this holiday weekend, up from $365.34 last year.

“More consumers than ever turned out for retailers’ Black Friday promotions, a promising sign for the economic recovery,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “After an historic holiday weekend, retailers know the holiday season is far from over and will continue to look for ways to excite holiday shoppers and build on the momentum we’ve seen thus far.”

The survey also found that 28.7 million people shopped online and at stores on Thanksgiving Day— up from 22.2 million last year, and 86.3 million shoppers were in stores on Black Friday, according to the survey.

Nearly a quarter (24.4%) of Black Friday shoppers were at the stores by midnight on Black Friday, either waiting for stores to open or visiting retailers who opened on Thanksgiving evening. By comparison, the number of people who were at the stores at midnight was 9.5% in 2010 and 3.3% in 2009.
“Consumers are clearly demonstrating their desire to spend this holiday season, but are far from throwing caution to the wind when it comes to how much they will spend on gifts,” said Phil Rist, evp/BIGresearch. “Retailers will have to stick to an aggressive holiday promotion schedule to keep consumers interested.”

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