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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…

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.

 

 

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9 comments

Centrist-View December 2, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Walmart sold 2.8 million towels on Thanksgiving

Why Black Friday’s surprise hit was a 29-cent washcloth

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/black-fridays-surprise-hit-a-29-cent-washcloth-2013-11-29

Yesterday, Walmart stores opened at 6 p.m. and processed more than 10 million register transactions in its stores through 10 p.m., the company says. The store sold 2 million televisions, 1.4 million tablets and 1.9 million dolls. But that’s child’s play compared to the number of towels it sold — 2.8 million.

Why the ravenous demand for linens? Walmart offered a doorbuster deal on towels: Customers could get a six-pack of washcloths or one bath towel for $1.74. If Twitter is to be believed, towels deals may have been fight-worthy. Several shoppers tweeted they saw fights break out over the towels: including @anthony2328 who wrote “I just saw the best fight tonight at walmart tonight over towels !” (Walmart has not commented.)

Reply
Smirks December 2, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Well, a towel is the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.

Reply
shifty henry December 2, 2013 at 2:58 pm

“Charlie Chan say cheap towel is most welcome and useful when honorable woman wiping blood off face received in most disgraceful dispute.”

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CorruptionInColumbia December 2, 2013 at 12:16 pm

“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.”

GOOD!!!!! I hope the retail greed-mongers who forced their employees to work on Thanksgiving Day, rather than spend it with their families, wind up losing their asses, this season! You can bet the damn CEO’s and their staffs weren’t working that day.

Reply
southmauldin December 2, 2013 at 1:11 pm

You said it. I always go hiking on Black Friday while all of the dumbasses fight each other over some big screen TV that they will pay for with a credit card that they will never pay off.

Reply
Free markets improve humanity December 2, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Not that I disagree with the sentiment surrounding the decay our present society, but have you considered that some of the working poor might have appreciated the opportunity to make money that day?

Reply
CorruptionInColumbia December 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I have, but a bet a lot more who needed a job and the steady income it provides would rather have had an all-too-rare day off with their families, too.

I have been in both situations over my lifetime. As I get older, I realize that time with family is something that, once it is gone, you can never get back.

Reply
euwe max December 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Damned hippies!

I sold out in the 80’s, what the hell is the problem? Surely it can’t be not enough credit to get shit with.

Don’t ever forget – the one who dies with the most toys wins!

Of course, that Chinese crap is getting old fast… we need more brightly colored crap – new crap, FASCINATING crap! … not recycled old crap in a different package!

TVs and cell phones – I mean, WAKE UP! we’ve already GOT everything! How about some NEW electronic gadget? Let’s cross the brain/chip boundary already! Get rid of the keyboard altogether… how about a little spin-off from fission technology, Uncle Sam? Let’s have a generator that runs on safe nuclear fuel in a AA battery! Pocket sized C02 lasers to replace projectile weapons! cheap 3d printers that print metal!

Some new super vehicle that’s so dangerous every kid will want one! Affordable personal flight!

Affordable rail guns!

We need new crap!

Reply
TontoBubbaGoldstein December 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm Reply

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