Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Black Friday 2010 Results: Success or Slowdown?

Nov 30, 2010 Marie Cauley

Christmas Tree -

Christmas Tree -

Bargain shoppers look forward to it, while many retail employees dread it. The sales start early...5 in the morning, 3 AM, Midnight...some stores now even open at 10 PM on Thanksgiving night just to get a jump on everyone else. A lot of people wait in line outside of stores and malls until they unlock the doors, hoping to get those incredible deals that the merchants have promised. With all of the people who participate in the Black Friday traditions, you would hope it to be a successful day for both shoppers and retailers. But the economy hasn't recovered yet, which makes it harder for buyers and sellers alike. How did this year's numbers stack up?

Great Deals for Shoppers

If you were willing to get up early enough there were plenty of bargains to go around. Certain sales were not available online, in an attempt to get customers into the actual store where they might spot other gift ideas, therefore spending more money than originally planned. The main Black Friday deals were on toys and electronics, but also tempting shoppers were sales and giveaways on cosmetics, bath, and beauty items. The real surprise of the holiday weekend is that men outspent women; men are notorious for waiting until much closer to Christmas to do their shopping.

Happier Retailers

According to ShopperTrak, the increase in sales over last year was lower than predicted, but still up 3 tenths of a percent. Store traffic was up 2.2 percent, so this means that shoppers are becoming smarter and really watching their budgets so they do not overspend this year. Sales increased more in the Northeast and Midwest parts of the United States while decreasing in the South. Of course, other retail sites are still compiling numbers, so these are not the final totals. Stores like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target showed the best numbers overall. Jewelry sales were up almost 3 percent this weekend, partially due to deeper than ever discounts and special incentives.

Cyber Monday

More people are doing their Chistmas shopping over the internet now, and the retailers are catering to their needs. There were plenty of sales on store websites for those shoppers who didn't want to fight the mall crowds and stampedes at discount stores, with various sites reporting between a 5 and 9 percent increase in online sales over Black Friday 2009. The Monday after Thanksgiving is now known as Cyber Monday, when many merchants give even deeper discounts than the ones on Black Friday to those who prefer to have their gifts shipped directly to them.

What does all of this mean for the future of Black Friday? If trends continue as they have gone and the numbers for Cyber Monday increase, we may see less deals on Friday than we do on Monday in the years to come. Only time will tell.

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