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Black Friday’s Not So Black Numbers

by Susan Morgan on December 5, 2008


ONE MORE THING, this from online The Motley Fool, on what consumers did on Friday… and some insight into why. And one remarkably insightful quote:

Consumers simply decided that in the words of Brian Rogers, T. Rowe’s Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, “Statistically speaking, the world does not end that often.”

These guys are thinking it’s a good time to look for value.

UPATE 12/02: According to a fantastic piece on, The National Retail Federation (NRF) survey data says the number of shoppers either in stores or accessing online retailers, from Black Friday through Sunday, was up 17% (172 million shoppers) versus last year (147 million shoppers). The average amount spent was $372.57, up 7.2%. Clothes and electronics were big.

Retail sales during the holiday season account for 30% of a retailers business throughout the year — hence the name for the shopping day known as Black Friday. 

Sales on this year’s Black Friday, November 28, were up 3% nationally, to $10.6 billion, according to early figures released by ShopperTrak RCT Corp. The research firm tracks sales and traffic at over 50,000 stores and shopping centers.

UP? How can that be?

Lest we get too hopeful, ShopperTrack continues to forecast a “flat” November and December.Other groups forecast modest increases. Yes you read that right… Increases.

Even with the positive numbers, it remains to be seen if the improvement in retail sales over 2007 levels will hold over the rest of the shopping season. The season seems especially short this year, due to the lateness of the Thanksgiving holiday, and so shoppers may be spending more in less time. Results from the finish line will tell the tale. But with media filled doom and gloom, wall to wall coverage of Economic Emergencies… it’s hard to know if cautious optimism can take hold as the order of the day, or if “the sky is falling’ will win out.

More definite numbers about the holiday weekend retail business will be reported tomorrow when the International Council of Shopping CentersNational Retail Federation and others tally results. Individual chains will make November sales public on Thursday. Retail sales during early November had been weak, continuing the trend begun in September and October of this year.

Watch for updates.

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Susan Morgan
Creative, passionate and detailed, Susan brings 25-plus years professional writing experience to a variety of projects — get-noticed direct mail pieces, full line print catalogs, eye-catching color brochures and totally original. search engine friendly company blogs, web pages and online articles.

A lifelong love of storytelling has also produced a full-length novel (Out of the Ordinary published by booklocker in 2007). Susan continues to indulge her passion for fiction with a growing number of short stories (one an award winner in 2004, another in 2008) and finalizing a second novel.

In her spare time Susan enjoys gardening, studying astrology and tarot, being with family and friends and keeping up with politics and current events.

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