The Black Friday shopping weekend is almost over and shoppers are now taking a break from standing in lines to check the "Cyber Monday" deals online retailers are offering today. With stores opening earlier than ever on Thanksgiving Day this year, retailers were expecting record sales.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) today released its estimates for this weekend's U.S. sales. Unfortunately for retailers, it appears that cash-strapped Americans were more thrifty this year than the last. The NRF numbers show that Black Friday weekend shoppers spent $407.02 on average - a drop from the $423.55 those same shoppers averaged in 2012.
The lower numbers were, according to the NRF, due to lower prices from retailers. Though each shopper spent less the total number of shoppers this weekend rose 2 million from last year to hit 141 million shoppers.
Earlier store openings didn't seem to deter shoppers looking for doorbuster deals. Shopping on Thanksgiving Day alone increased 27% year-over-year to 45 million people, or nearly two-thirds of those who shopped over the weekend. Just over one-quarter of shoppers (25.4%) this weekend stood in line for store openings by 8 pm on Thanksgiving Day.
“Cold weather, unique promotions and unbeatable prices put millions of Americans in the mood to shop for holiday gifts this weekend,” said Matthew Shay, CEO and president of the NRF. “Retailers’ late night and early morning promotions struck just the right chord for those hoping to kick off the holiday shopping season with friends and family. With only a few weeks until the big day, retailers will continue to aggressively promote their in-store and online offerings, looking to entice today’s very budget-conscious and value-focused shopper.”