US Shoppers in 'Black Friday' Buying Bonanza

01 December 2008

NEW YORK: US retailers managed to buck the southbound sales trend over the Thanksgiving holiday courtesy of frenetic price cuts, according to the National Retail Federation, which estimates that the average US shopper spent $372.57 (7.2%) more than last year, across the four days from Thanksgiving Thursday to Sunday.

A survey carried out for the NRF projects that the number of shoppers visiting stores and online e-commerce sites rose more than 15% to 172 million – a startling U-turn from the early  weeks of November when retailers early promotions seemingly left consumers unmoved.

Says NRF president Tracy Mullen: "Holiday sales are not expected to continue at this brisk pace, but it is encouraging that Americans seem excited to go shopping again”.

The unexpectedly strong sales she attributes to "pent-up demand on electronics and clothing, plus unparalleled bargains on this season's hottest items".

The northbound sales trend was confirmed by online payments system PayPal, which reported a 26% year-on-year increase in e-commerce sales on the so-called 'Black Friday'.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff