Black Friday Weekend Sales Rise 0.9%

Chicago ShopperTrak reported that the start to the critical holiday shopping season got off to a mixed start as Black Friday weekend reported a slight retail sales increase while posting a rather large drop in total U.S. foot traffic.

The company’s National Retail Sales Estimate (NRSE) and Retail Traffic Index (SRTI) showed a 0.9% increase and 19.3% decrease respectively for the three-day period as compared to 2007.

Breaking down the weekend, Black Friday kicked off the season in surprisingly strong fashion, with shoppers spending $10.6 billion throughout the day, a 3.0% increase over Black Friday 2007. While retail sales typically begin to level off following the Black Friday spending rush, Saturday ($6.0 billion) and Sunday ($3.5 billion) sales patterns seemed to reflect the turbulent economy as each day posted a decrease of 0.8 and 2.3%, respectively, as compared to 2007.

“Due to the current state of the economy, Black Friday’s $10.6 billion performance was a welcome sight for retailers,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “In looking at the rest of the weekend, we saw a rather uncertain consumer as Black Friday sales and promotions came to an end and various economic pressures drove consumers back home to wait for that next big sale.”