Total Black Friday Spending

November 28, 2011 — Leave a comment

Black Friday

November 28, 2011

Initially, I was going to do a review of Black Friday sales results. However, in the back of my mind I always wondered how they knew 200+ million people shopped that weekend. Did they count them all or what?!

As I started collecting numbers, I found my answers. Black Friday sales results are all estimated until retail stores eventually release the real data. How is it estimated?

– Analysts make store visits and watch details like the size of customers’ shopping bags and the length of lines outside stores to estimate how consumer spending is rising or falling. They can compare store traffic to the rates of shoppers who are making purchases to get a reading on conversion rates. (1)

– The survey, conducted Nov. 24-26 by BIGresearch for NRF, polled 3,826 consumers and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.6%. (2)

– Brisk Black Friday sales may illustrate a gap between what consumers tell pollsters and how they actually behave — a trend that has prevailed for much of this year, according to Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, a Swampscott, Massachusetts-based research firm. (3)

Really, they came up with all of these numbers based on a survey of 3,826 people and estimates of how big shopper’s bags are?! As pointed out in the third point, they have know clue if these numbers are accurate.

Ok, so back to the original point at hand. I’m not a Black Friday shopper… and I don’t necessarily advocate it. What do the numbers from 2011 Black Friday look like?

Overall Results

– Black Friday usually accounts for about 10% of retailers’ holiday sales (1)

– 86.3 million shoppers braved the crowds on Black Friday. (8)

– On Black Friday alone, retailers raked in an estimated $11.4 billion, up 6.6% from last year, according to ShopperTrak. (6)

– 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 212 million last year. (8)

– The average holiday shopper spent $398.62 this weekend, up from $365.34 last year and $343.31 from 2009. (8)

– Total spending reached an estimated $52.4 billion, up from $5 billion in 2010. (8)


Early Shoppers

Based on the results below, retailers will continue to open stores earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving. If it pays off for them, they’ll definitely do it!

– Nearly one-quarter (24.4%) of Black Friday shoppers were at the stores by midnight on Black Friday; compared to 9.5 percent in 2010 and 3.3 percent in 2009. (8)

– Stores that opened early saw a 24% increase in conversion, or the rate of shoppers that made purchases, according to the NPD Group. (1)

– Stores that opened on the evening before Black Friday like Wal-Mart and Target had sold out the bulk of their inventory by Black Friday itself. (1)


Web Results

As expected, shoppers continue to increase online shopping, but it doesn’t seem to be cutting into the numbers visiting the stores. Points 2 and 3 don’t really match, but that’s what happen when you have different companies giving different estimates!

– 28.7 million people shopped online and at stores on Thanksgiving Day – up from 22.2 million last year. (8)

– Consumers spent an average of $150.53 on the web – 37.8 percent of their total weekend spending. (8)

– Online shoppers spent an average of $190.10 per order, on par with last year, mostly opening their wallets to higher-ticket items compared with 2010, according to a survey by Coremetrics, an IBM Corp company. (6)

– Web sales on Black Friday surged 26 percent to $816 million and 18 percent to $479 million on Thanksgiving Day, said ComScore, a Reston, Virginia-based research firm. (5)


Other Notes

– Self-gifting was also on the rise as 46% of Black Friday shoppers bought something for themselves, up from 35% last year, research firm NPD Group said. (6)

– More than half (51.4%) bought clothing and clothing accessories, and gift buyers were also drawn to promotions on electronics and computer-related accessories over the weekend. Nearly four in 10 (39.4%) bought electronic items, up from 36.7 percent last year. Additionally, shoppers stocked up on home décor (21.3%), gift cards (23.1%), toys (32.6%), and jewelry (13.8%). (8)

– Scouring deals from discount stores to grocery stores, shoppers visited a variety of retailers over the weekend. The most popular shopping destinations once again were at department stores (48.7%) and discounters (37.5%). Additionally, consumers also shopped at clothing stores (24.6%), drug stores (14.0%) and grocery stores (23.8%), electronics stores (30.8%) and craft or fabric stores (7. 9%.) (8)




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