Early Holiday Shopping Report: Mixed Bag
The initial push to the 2013 holiday shopping season is off to a slow start – but the retail association which tracks holiday spending remains optimistic its growth projections will hold.
According to the National Retail Federation, 141 million Americans visited stores over the Thanksgiving weekend – up from 139 million in 2012.
That’s the good news. The bad news? Shoppers spent an average of $407.02 – down from $423.55 a year ago. That translates to $57.4 billion in total sales – down from $59.1 billion last year.
Despite this early 2.8 percent decline, the NRF is standing by its projection of 3.9 percent growth for the duration of the holiday season.
“Retailers will continue to aggressively promote their in-store and online offerings, looking to entice today’s very budget-conscious and value-focused shopper,” the association said in a statement.
Thanksgiving Day shopping soared in 2012 – with 45 million Americans visiting stores on the national holiday (up 27 percent from last year’s 35 million). Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving- also saw an uptick in traffic, as 92 million Americans went shopping (up from 89 million last year).
Unfortunately for retailers, these shoppers are targeting discounts and scaling back their total spending – which eats into profits.
NRF polled 4,464 consumers from November 29-30. Its survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.5 percent.