Black Friday Weekend Sets new Record

Retailers this year have seen steady returns on holiday shopping as the Thanksgiving weekend ends.

Black Friday has set a new record. According to a press release (courtesy of PR Newswire) ShopperTrak, the world’s largest provider of retail and mall foot-traffic counting services, reported Black Friday sales were up 6.6 percent from last year.

What this equates to is $11.40 billion in monies spent by consumers on this popular shopping day. In addition to the record-setting sales number, retail foot-traffic increased by 5.1 percent over last year’s Black Friday sales.

The release said, “Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year and the traditional start to the holiday shopping season,” said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. “Despite our sluggish economy, shoppers proved they are looking for value and ready to buy if given a good customer experience. 

“This is the largest year-over-year gain in ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate for Black Friday since the 8.3 percent increase we saw between 2007 and 2006. Still, it’s just one day. It remains to be seen whether consumers will sustain this behavior through the holiday shopping season.”

The weekend inflated those numbers even higher. On Sunday the National Retail Federation said, “Total spending reached an estimated $52.4 billion. Additionally, shoppers also checked out retailers’ deals online, spending an average of $150.53 on the web – 37.8 percent of their total weekend spending.”

The survey, conducted by BIGresearch found that 226 million shoppers visited stores and online shops over the weekend and spent an average of $398.62; last year’s average per shopper was $365.34.

November, in general, have been seeing strong retail returns and, while Cyber Monday sales have yet to be calculated, early estimates believed Cyber Monday 2011 would show strong numbers as well. Last year’s Cyber Monday broke previous records since the trend began in 2005, statistics showed 2010’s Cyber Monday was up 20 percent over 2009.

Online retailers are especially seeing a healthy holiday season so far.

Despite some analysts’ predictions that the flurry of brick-and-mortar retailers opening their doors early for Black Friday would pull dollars from online retail, we still saw a banner day for e-commerce with more than $800 million in spending,” said comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni.

Fulgoni added, “With brick-and-mortar retail also reporting strong gains on Black Friday, it’s clear that the heavy promotional activity had a positive impact on both channels.”

Amazon took the lead for most sales on Black Friday, having garnered more than 50 percent more visitors than other online sellers.