Door Busting Bonanza: Retail Sales Down Slightly for Black Friday, But Up For the Weekend

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November 26, 2012 ‐ By Kimberly Maul

A display at Macy’s Herald Square. John Minchillo / AP Images for Macy’s

As more retailers opened their doors late on Thanksgiving evening, in-store sales for Black Friday and the holiday weekend rose.

According to the National Retail Federation, total spending for the weekend was estimated at $59.1 billion, with 89 million consumers braving the crowds on Black Friday, up from 86 million in 2011. Additionally, 35 million customers went out on Thanksgiving Day, up from 29 million last year.

In-store sales for the weekend rose by 13 percent, which was not as much as the 16 percent increase in sales last year. Looking just at Black Friday, ShopperTrak, which counts retail foot traffic, reported in-store sales of $11.2 billion, down 1.8 percent from Black Friday 2011. But overall foot traffic was up 3.5 percent.

But online sales on Black Friday—jumping the gun for Cyber Monday—reached more than $1 billion, according to comScore. Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and Apple were the top five e-commerce sites visited.

Apple was a notable participant in Black Friday, offering in-store and online discounts on its new MacBooks, iPads, and more. It paid off, with Apple beating Microsoft in Black Friday sales.

Additionally Citi’s retail analyst Deborah L. Weinswig put together a spreadsheet with the major retailers, declaring that Walmart “won” Black Friday based on door busters, store traffic, and customer service.

There were still Black Friday riots and violence, which may lead more consumers to shift to online shopping. Business Insider has some stats about online and digital Black Friday sales, including the fact that 16 percent of sales came from mobile devices, up from 10 percent in 2011.

But online sales during the same time rose to new records, showing that consumers are starting to take their shopping times into their own hands. With the increases in online sales and the spreading out of shopping days, there is a shift in the ways consumers are doing their holiday shopping this year. Check out this story for more on that.

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