U.S. Holiday Weekend Store Sales Fizzle Early holiday promotions and rising online shopping took a toll on in-store sales during the Thanksgiving weekend as shoppers on average spent 6.4 percent less than they did a year earlier.

By Reuters

entrepreneur daily

This story originally appeared on Reuters

Reuters | Eduardo Munoz

Early holiday promotions and rising online shopping took a toll on in-store U.S. sales during the Thanksgiving weekend as shoppers on average spent 6.4 percent less than they did a year earlier, according to data released Sunday by an industry group.

The National Retail Federation estimated shoppers on average spent $380.95 at stores this holiday weekend, which began on Thursday, compared with $407.02 a year ago, and total spending fell about 11 percent to $50.9 billion over the weekend.

NRF President and Chief Executive Matthew Shay said there is an "evolutionary change" in holiday shopping among both consumers and retailers, and this trend is likely to continue.

The data highlights the growing importance of online sales and the waning importance of Black Friday, which until a few years ago traditionally kicked off the holiday shopping season in the United States, as more retailers open their doors on Thanksgiving Day and start discounting merchandise earlier in November.

comScore, a retail analytics firm, said U.S. online sales rose 32 percent to $766 million on Thanksgiving and 26 percent to $1.2 billion on Black Friday, driven by stronger deals online.

The Thanksgiving weekend is an early gauge of consumer mood in a season that generates about 30 percent of sales and nearly 40 percent of profit for retailers.

Discounted high-end apparel, televisions and toys were the most popular this year followed by items including video games, home furnishings and jewelry, according to the NRF survey of 4,631 consumers.

Department stores like Macy's were the most visited followed by discount retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and electronic chains like Best Buy.

NRF said nearly two in five consumers shopped online or plan to shop online by the weekend's end.

On Saturday, research firm ShopperTrack said sales at retail stores fell 0.5 percent.

RetailNext, another analytics firm, on Sunday said it found overall shopper traffic on Black Friday fell 14 percent, but on average shopper spending rose 1.9 percent, as conversion rates were higher, with shoppers spending more once in the store.

"Sales on Black Friday were very disappointing but retailers managed to drive a lot of people to their websites early on which helps us remain optimistic about the overall holiday season," said Shelley Kohan, vice president, retail consulting, at RetailNext.

The NRF stuck to its forecast for retail sales to rise 4.1 percent this holiday season.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Chicago; Editing by Jilian Mincer and Eric Walsh)

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business Solutions

Stay Organized with This Task Management Tool, on Sale for $30

A Study Planr Pro subscription is just $30 for life.

Business News

Here Are 3 Strategies Startup Founders Can Use to Approach High-Impact Disputes

The $7 billion "buy now, pay later" startup Klarna recently faced a public board spat. Here are three strategies to approach conflict within a business.

Thought Leaders

10 Simple, Productive Activities You Can Do When You Aren't Motivated to Work

Quick note: This article is birthed out of the urge to do something productive when I am not in a working mood. It can also inspire you on simple yet productive things to do when you're not motivated to work.

Devices

Get a 15-inch MacBook Pro for Less Than $375

Save on this refurbished MacBook Pro for a limited time.

Data & Recovery

Get 2TB of Cloud Storage with PhotoSphere for Just $280 for a Limited Time

Easily store and access photos, videos, and other files spread across your work devices.