Black Friday and the following weekend was projected to be the make or break shopping period for many retailers. It turns out things aren’t looking so bleak, for now. According to Reuters, early indicators from surveys point to an increase in shopper turnout and spending.
The National Retail Federation reports shoppers spent an average of $372.57 over the Black Friday weekend, which is 7.2% higher than last year’s $347.55. Total spending is estimated to be at $41 billion, up from $34.6 billion a year ago.
SpendingPulse is reporting sales of electronics and specialty retailers are down 14.3% while luxury retail sales increased 2.4% and e-commerce rose 11.8%.
The lines were no shorter on Black Friday for me than in previous years. I do think consumers exercised more caution and were looking for better deals this year. By all indications, early numbers look good but this might be the peak for retailers. The next few weeks will be critical and will tell the real story.
On December 1st, it was officially announced that the US has been in a recession since December of 2007 according to the Bureau of Economic Research.
We can all continue to do our small part to stimulate the economy this year by paying a visit to the local bakery, boutique or coffee shop. They are eagerly looking forward to you stopping in and just like large retailers need your business to keep going.
It has been encouraging to see the creative tips and budget friendly ideas shared by morning shows like Good Morning America, The Early Show and The Today Show. There are oodles of great ideas on how to give budget friendly gifts and prepare awesome budget friendly meals online and in popular magazines. When Oprah made the brilliant decision to pass on ‘My Favorite Things 2008’ and instead offered low cost and even free gift options, I think many gained and even deeper level of respect for her and the brilliant staff she employs.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!