Posted November 30, 2009 9:35 am by with 4 comments

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Black FridayLet’s face it this holiday season is a pivotal one for all of us from a macro point of view. While many retailers will be focused on their individual bottom lines it will be important to look at how this whole ‘first weekend’ of the holiday shopping season plays out from start to finish with the latest entry, Cyber Monday, happening as you read this.

First the good news. Online sales for Black Friday were up 11% over last year according to comScore and the rest of November was an improvement over the prior year. Let’s remember, though, that last year’s holiday season was on the heels of “Bailout 1” and waiting for a new president to be inaugurated. In other words, last year sucked so any improvement over those numbers needs to be tempered.

comScore Info 2009 JPEG

Overall, meaning the performance of the Black Friday weekend in total, was less heartening in that it appears that people are intent on spending less and there was virtually no increase in spending overall from last year. Yahoo News reports

Consumers spent significantly less per person at the start of the holiday season this weekend, dimming hopes for a retail comeback that would help propel the economy early in 2010.

Consumers said they will have spent nearly 8 percent less on average, or about $343 per person, over the weekend that includes Thanksgiving, Black Friday and runs through Sunday, according to the NRF (National Federation of Retailers).

Traffic to stores and websites rose to 195 million people from 172 million in 2008, but shoppers were focused on buying low-priced items, like $10 toys and $9 books, the NRF said.

Total spending for the holiday weekend rose to an estimated $41.2 billion, up 0.5 percent from a year earlier, NRF said.

Since I am not a prognosticator I am not going to offer some thoughts on where this will all go. What I will say is that this will not be the time for irrational exuberance over numbers that look nice in a silo. This season is about online and offline together and if there is little or no increase (or even a decrease) in spending then we are looking at some interesting times ahead.

  • mike

    Black Friday will be a shade of gray this year. Did we already forget that nobody has any money! Once again American’s are ramping up to get into more debt, buying things we can’t afford. Isn’t it bad enough that all of our homes and cars have been repossessed (see: I guess if you aren’t making your house payment anymore you can buy that big screen TV. I just hope we haven’t forgotten what Christmas is all about my friends.

    • Mike – We hear you Mike. Unfortunately I think the true meaning of Christmas has been completely lost through commercialism, political correctness and more which I won’t touch here. As for me and my house I will celebrate Christmas with or without Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

  • There are potential shoppers whose habits have to be surveyed mostly. The products they usually search for also have to be taken into consideration. Since there are two types of marketing, i.e. offline and online, the survey also has to be completed for both of the types.

  • Some people do make money even on crisis…
    .-= NewsCrawler´s last blog ..Go Go Pet Hamsters declared ‘unsafe’ by U.S. consumer group (Daily Mail) =-.