Black Friday shows surge of shoppers
While Thanksgiving day shoppers were out in the lakes area, Black Friday still appeared to reign supreme for many shoppers. Traffic through the lakes area was busy Friday with crowds reported in area stores and parking lots sporting many vehicles...
While Thanksgiving day shoppers were out in the lakes area, Black Friday still appeared to reign supreme for many shoppers.
Traffic through the lakes area was busy Friday with crowds reported in area stores and parking lots sporting many vehicles from Herberger's to Big Lots in the Westgate Mall to numerous shops and big box stores in Baxter and Brainerd.
"The lines were long, the clicks were plenty and the stores were full," said Matthew Shay, CEO and National Retail Federation president, in a statement on the start of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Shay said reports of long lines of shoppers waiting to enter stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday "were matched by reports of record-breaking online sales."
USA Today quoted numbers from software firm Adobe, which predicted $1.7 billion spent in 24 hours Thursday.
"Researcher Shoppertrack says retail stores rang up $3.2 billion in sales last Thanksgiving, while the Thursday/Friday period total was some $12.29 billion in sales at retail," USA Today reported.
Shay said, based on his own observations and those of other industry CEOs, four things stood out about the weekend.
• The importance of the store experience.
• Online promotions helped boost Thanksgiving shopping levels to surpass last year.
• The holiday season is a marathon, not a sprint and there are other important weekends to watch.
• Early bird and uniquely timed holiday deals captured the attention of shoppers.
"As early as the day before Thanksgiving, retailers rolled out the red carpet for their customers with uniquely-timed offers on electronics, apparel, sporting goods, toys and more," Shay stated. "The excitement continued into Thursday as reports of long lines outside stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday were matched by reports of record-breaking online sales.
"Retailers have done a tremendous job meeting the customer in the middle this holiday season, giving them both an unforgettable in-store experience that is still critical to any retailer's success, and a unique opportunity to find great deals without ever having to leave home through mobile and online promotions."
By Sunday, more details are expected to give the National Retail Federation a better idea of how this Black Friday weekend fared with consumers. Some predictions indicated shoppers would be more cautious and frugal about spending this season. Fortune reported mediocre retail sales levels have characterized 2015 to date.
Fortune said economists were predicting retailers "will come up short." If that proves to be true, shoppers may find bigger discounts and more sales to lure them into stores in the critical next few weeks before Christmas and the end of the year. "Expect at best a 4.5 percent increase in spending over last year and a tepid Black Friday," BCG Senior Partner Michael J. Silverstein said in a Fortune article.