What Black Friday Shoppers Spent on – And Where.

Posted by truecreek on November 30, 2009 under More Dam News, Research | Be the First to Comment

By Bertha Coombs, CNBC

Retailers drew more shoppers to open their wallets this Black Friday weekend, but the steep discounts they used to get them in the door meant that on average, shoppers spent less.

What Black Friday ShoppersThe National Federation of Retailers says 195 million people shopped at stores and online over the weekend, up 13.3 percent from last year. Total spending was flat at $41.2 billion, but on average consumers spent 8.5 percent less, roughly $343 per person compared to $372 a year ago.

Department stores emerged the shopping destination of choice for nearly half of all shoppers polled in the NRF’s Black Friday survey, conducted by BIGresearch.

Discount stores came in second garnering a 43.2 percent share, and outlets picking up 7.8 percent of shoppers. Just over one in four surveys shopped at electronics stores (29 percent) or online (28.5 percent).

Two years into the deepest recession in a generation, consumers may be showing signs of what some have termed frugal fatigue, says the NRF’s Ellen Davis. “Retailers have to come away from this weekend encouraged,” she says, “that shoppers were willing to spend on some discretionary items.”

Capital Growth Partners president Craig Johnson says the consumer was back in force over Black Friday weekend. In a note to clients, he wrote, ‘These are not simply browsers, but buyers, with checkout lines of 30 or longer in some mall teen specialty stores, and checkout lines exceeding 350 in several Big Box stores.”

Just over half shoppers bought clothing, according to the survey, helping to boost department store sales. About forty percent bought books, DVDs and video games.   Those numbers were about the same as last year.

Price wars on popular toys at Wal-Mart, Target and Toys R Us saw more shoppers buying toys as gifts. About a third of shoppers said they spent money on toys, a 12.9 percent increase from last year.

According to the survey, more shoppers bought sporting and leisure items this year — 12.6 percent, up a point from last year. Personal care and beauty items saw a bigger increase — 22.4 percent up from 19.0 percent — along with gift cards — 21.2 percent vs. 18.7 percent a year ago.

Did those early door busters in the wee hours of the morning pay off? Nearly one-third of shoppers (31.2 percent) were at the stores by 5 a.m. according to the NRF survey, that’s up from 23.3 percent last year. The majority of those early shoppers were men or younger shoppers.

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