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Thanksgiving weekend in-store sales numbers disappoint

(Business News) Black Friday sales and Thanksgiving weekend shoppers didn’t spend nearly as much this year as last, so what does this mean for the coming shopping season?

spending money at target

spending money at target

Thanksgiving weekend in-store sales slump

Black Friday numbers and Thanksgiving weekend sales numbers fail to meet expectations, putting new pressure on retailers. Over the weekend, shoppers spent an average of 6.4 percent less than they did a year prior, but why?

Experts say that the combination of early holiday promotions and an increase in online shopping took a toll on in-store sales, and we would add that many retailers extended Black Friday sales well into December, eliminating the urgency to buy over the weekend. Others relied too heavily on select doorbusters, leaving palettes of barely-on-sale-products standing tall on the floor.

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Shoppers spent an average of $380.95 at stores over this holiday weekend (beginning on Thursday), according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Compare that to $407.02 just a year ago, total spending fell roughly 11 percent to $50.9 billion over the weekend.

NRF President and CECO, Matthew Shay said there is an “evolutionary change” in holiday shopping among both consumers and retailers, projecting that this trend will continue.

Online sales growing in importance

Sales this weekend impress upon retailers the importance of online sales as Black Friday sales slump, which is typically the jump start to the shopping season. Arguments over when to open the doors appear to have been in vain, and retailers raked in the cash, but failed to meet expectations as focus must now be on the web just as much as it is on the stores.

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comScore, reports that online sales rose 32 percent to $766 million on Thanksgiving and 26 percent to $1.2 billion on Black Friday, primarily because online deals were enticing.

Looking forward to the upcoming shopping season

Although sales didn’t meet expectations, retailers this year will race to offer the best deals, so shoppers can expect slashed prices two weeks before Christmas.

Because Thanksgiving weekend is typically a litmus test for how shoppers will be opening their wallets in coming weeks, many are nervous. This particular weekend typically accounts for 30 percent of sales and 40 percent of profit for retailers during this holiday season, so the pressure is on.

The NRF maintains that retail sales will rise 4.1 percent overall this holiday season, and we suspect that blowout sales prices will be in full swing in coming weeks.

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