1/6/2014 - Sales soared during 'Black Weekend'
The Black Friday sales period proved to be a profitable one for retailers of all kinds this past holiday shopping season, especially when compared to numbers from 2012.
Holiday purchases at brick-and-mortar stores rose 1% year-over-year to total $22 billion over four days, which this time around began for many on Thanksgiving Day, according to analytics firm ShopperTrak. However, given that actual foot traffic in these stores diminished by about 4%, it suggests that people were more willing to dig deeper into their pockets by spending more.
Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak, indicated that what is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year has metamorphosed into a multi-day event.
"Retailers stretched Black Friday deals and promotions across November – removing the focus from just one big day of shopping," said Martin. "Shoppers, in turn, paced themselves. They spread their shopping and spending not just across the holiday weekend, but also into the days and weeks before it, contributing to a decrease in the holiday's shopper traffic."
He added that many consumers also did their homework by performing research on products that they intended to buy after examining customer reviews and specifications for merchandise.
While retailers in previous years have opened their doors on Thanksgiving, this was done to a greater extent this past holiday season - a move which proved to be a financially successful one. The National Retail Federation reported that an estimated 141 million Americans shopped at some point over the four-day weekend, up from approximately 139 million in 2012.
Also similar to previous years, there were isolated incidents of injuries among shoppers, caused by fights over merchandise or buyers stampeding for highly sought-after products. Business owners insurance can help protect retailers in the event consumers allege a store was delinquent in ensuring proper safety protocols.