Posted December 1, 2014 2:37 pm by with 0 comments

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walmart-black-fridayBlack Friday 2014 is behind us and the preliminary numbers are in.

Let’s go with the facts from the National Retail Federation and their survey partner Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Overall shopper traffic from Thanksgiving Day through Sunday, November 30 dropped 5.2 percent from 2013 (133.7 million unique holiday shoppers versus 141.1 million in 2013). Total shopping, including multiple trips by the same shopper, was also down this weekend (233.3 million versus 248.6 million).

Not so good. . . but not so bad.

It was still the biggest shopping event of the year with more than a third of the shoppers in the survey starting their quest on Thanksgiving Day. NRF says that one of the reasons for the drop in sales could be that people aren’t trying to stretch a dollar as far as they used to. Since the economy has improved, shoppers aren’t as willing to risk the crush to save a few bucks. Add in the fact that there were so many, huge, pre-Black Friday sales and the lower totals for the weekend shouldn’t be a surprise.

Making a List: Checking it Twice

Clothing was the most popular item on this year’s holiday bargain hunt list. 54.5% of the shoppers in the survey said they bought apparel items over the weekend. Second place goes to books, videos and video games with 34.9%. Only a third bought toys and an equal number bought electronics. 28.1% gave up early and picked up gift cards instead of gifts.

77% of savvy shoppers took advantage of the holiday sales to buy non-gift items.

No Lines Online

Almost half of all holiday shoppers did some of their Black Friday shopping online, with a much smaller percentage roaming the internet stores on Saturday.

According to the survey the average person who shopped over the weekend spent $159.55 online, approximately 41.9 percent of their total average budget, down 10.2 percent from $177.67 last year.

Again, a drop in sales but hopefully we’ll make that up today since it’s Cyber Monday.

Just the Facts

Here are a few more interesting tidbits from the NRF survey:

  • 2 in 5 smartphone owners say they used or will use their smartphone to make purchase decisions over the Thanksgiving weekend
  • Millennials (18-34) will spend more than the average adult ($409.45)
  • 46.4% of what Millennials spent or will spend over the weekend will be online ($189.84)

Now it’s onward to Cyber Monday, then a final tally for the weekend. The National Retail Federation is still predicting a 4.1% increase in holiday sales over last year, so we all need to do our part to make up for the ground we lost over the weekend. Time to go shopping!