The National Retail Federation says that 212 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend.
That’s up from 195 million last year. People also spent more.
- The average shopper this weekend spending $365.34, up from last year’s $343.31.
- Total spending reached an estimated $45.0 billion.
- The number of people who began their Black Friday shopping at midnight tripled this year from 3.3 percent last year to 9.5 percent in 2010.
- By 4 a.m. nearly one-fourth (24.0%) of Black Friday shoppers were already at the stores.
- Thanksgiving Day openings went from 10.3 million in 2005 to 22.3 million in 2010.
- Shoppers are buying discretionary gifts this year. People buying jewelry over the weekend rose from 11.7 percent last year to 14.3 percent this year. Additionally, more people purchased gift cards, toys and books and electronic entertainment than a year ago.
- The number of people who shopped stores and online between Thursday and Sunday jumped 8.7% to 212 million shoppers, according to a National Retail Federation survey of 4,306 shoppers conducted by BIGresearch. The total amount spent during the four-day weekend reached an estimated $45 billion, with the average spending rising 6.4% to $365.34, the survey showed.
- According to our first holiday survey, Americans plan to spend an average of $688.87 on holiday-related shopping, a slight rise from last year’s $681.83. But those numbers just tell a fraction of the story. Here are some of the most interesting trends and nuggets I found when digging through the full report of data, provided by our partners at BIGresearch.
#1: Americans [still] aren’t ready to declare an end to the recession. According to the survey, 61.7% of holiday shoppers say the economy will impact their spending plans this year. (That is down from 65.3% last year, which is certainly a good sign.) While many people who say they’ll be impacted will simply spend less (81.5%), others will compensate by shopping for sales more often (54.1%), using coupons more frequently (40.6%) and comparison shopping online (30.9%).
#2 …Retailers may have a bit of breathing room this year to focus on factors other than price and promote items other than the basic necessities.
#3: Fundamentals are out. Fun is in. While gift cards and clothing will remain the most requested holiday items this year, the number of people putting jewelry on their wish lists this year is up 13 percent from a year ago (20.8% in ’09 vs. 23.0% in ’10). And more people are also asking for personal care or beauty items (17.1% in ’09 vs. 18.2% in ’10). Could this be the first signal of a return to discretionary spending?
#4: Which one factor is the most important when determining where to shop for the holiday season. It’s no surprise that, during a recession, sales or discounts and everyday low prices take the cake. While sales or price discounts are still chosen by the majority of survey respondents (41.8%) as the most important factor, that number dropped from last year’s all-time high of 43.3%. What’s taking its place on the list of priorities? According to the survey, customer service (at 5.3%, the highest percentage since we began the survey in 2002) and merchandise quality (12.7%). While older Americans place a primary emphasis on price, younger adults 18-24 are twice as likely as other adults (10.3%) to say that they’ll choose a store based on service.
#5: Forget price. It’s all about value. Unlike 2009 – and most definitely 2008 – price is not the only factor shoppers will consider when making buying decisions. We saw the same trend pan out during the back-to-school season and expect this trend to continue for the holidays.
#6: Gen Y are not shopping early (27.7% will start before Halloween compared with 37.2% of all adults). They’re more likely than average adults to buy at department stores, clothing stores, electronics stores…basically, when this group decides to actually start shopping, they’re really planning to hit the pavement. They’re spending pennies on the holiday season compared to other adults ($469.32 for young adults 18-24 vs. $688.87 average) but they’re among the first to head out and make “non-gift” purchases for themselves (69.4% of young adults vs. 57.1% average). More than half say the economy will impact their spending (57.6%) but they’re also twice as likely as other adults (10.3% vs. 5.3%) to say that customer service is the most important factor when making a purchase.
#7: The number of people who will take advantage of holiday sales to make non-gift purchases for themselves is up eight percent this year (52.9% in ’09 vs. 57.1% this year), and the average person will spend about $108 on these “just for me” purchases.
Who’s most likely to spend on themselves? Men (58.2%), young adults 25-34 (70.5%), and Southerners (58.6%).
#8: Fewer men start their holiday shopping before Halloween (32% of men, 42% of women) and that men are more likely to request consumer electronics (39.7%) or sporting goods (25.8%) while women prefer gift cards (63.8%), jewelry (33.3%) and home décor (25.9%). But here’s something that might surprise you: men will also spend about $20 more than women on holiday purchases ($698.76 for men, $679.48 for women) and are more likely to shop at department stores than their female counterparts (56.5% of men, 52.5% of women).
#9: The biggest spenders are just one click away. People who will shop online will spend 24.6 percent more than average adults ($858.49 for online shoppers vs. $688.87 for all adults). The group is also more likely to start shopping early (42.6% will start shopping before Halloween) and make non-gift purchases for themselves (61.4% of online shoppers vs. 57.1% of adults). And that bargain hunting mentality? Don’t count on it: Online shoppers are no more likely to say that sales and discounts are the main factor when deciding where to buy than average shoppers – 41.8 percent of respondents in both groups said sales were the overriding factor.
#10: More than one-fourth of Americans who have a smartphone will use their mobile device to shop for gifts, compare prices and research products (or read reviews, buy merchandise, find nearby stores…the opportunities are truly endless). It’s no surprise that number is quite a bit higher among 18-24 year-olds (45.0%), but should serve as a clear signal to retailers that this mobile trend is not going away anytime so
Read more TRENDS
1. Being blinded by bargains.
You may spend more than you normally would have or end up with a closet full of cheap, unnecessary stuff.
Stay focused by drawing up a budget and gift list before you head to the store. Write down everyone you need to buy for, along with the amount of money you’re willing to spend on each person. Then, jot down gift ideas for each person on your list. An hour of forethought can save you a bundle in the long run.
2. Forgetting to budget for the extras.
Gifts aren’t the only expense this time of year. Don’t forget to factor in the costs of greeting cards, postage, family photos, shipping, décor, entertaining, travel and even higher utility bills for your festive outdoor light display.
3. Buying on credit.
Financial experts say that those who shop with credit cards tend to spend as much as 30 percent more than if they’d shopped with cash. The reason: When you shop with cash, you’re more aware of how much you spend and how much you have left because you can touch it. And once the money’s gone, it’s gone.
Plus, if you have to put the purchase on your credit card or sign up for the store’s financing, you simply cannot afford it. Any good deal you thought you were getting will be eroded by the interest you’ll accrue and the time you’ll spend as a debt hostage. About 12 million Americans are still paying off last holiday’s bills, according to Consumer Reports.
4. Not keeping the receipt.
Keep your receipts, also, in case you or a loved one needs to make a return. Without a receipt, you may only get store credit — or your return could be refused altogether.
5. Spending to impress.
This is a biggie, especially for young adults who may feel compelled to prove their success and their new independence. Don’t let your gift giving become a larger statement than the gift. Before tossing something in your cart, ask yourself if it’s something the person will really use and if you can really afford it. And the same goes for entertaining. It’s the company of friends that matters, not how much money you spend.
It’s wonderful to get caught up in the spirit of giving, but not if that means you’ll break your budget or go insane trying to pull it off.
7. Giving in to gift guilt.
Don’t let guilt drive you to break your budget or go into debt. You don’t have to spend the same amount of money on every kid on your list, for example. Simply accept the gift and say thank you.
8. Failing to do your homework.
That discount looks like a good deal, but do you know if it’s the best value for your money? (Remember, inexpensive sometimes just means cheap.) Hit the Web before making major purchases to compare prices, read customer reviews and make sure you’re getting a quality item at a good price.
In the frenzy of last-minute shopping, you have no time to give thoughtful presents. So you compensate by spending more. If you’re shopping online, aim to make your purchases by mid-December. That way, you won’t have to pay extra for expedited shipping, and your gifts stand the best chance of arriving on time.
And for heaven’s sake, don’t waste your money on a bad gift. You may as well toss your money on a blazing yule log. Here are some common gifting gaffes to avoid:
Gadgets they’ll never use (golf-ball-finder glasses, battery-powered potato peeler)
Desk clutter (“gone fishin'” plaques, Zen gardens, paper weights)
Overly personal (lingerie, nose-hair trimmers, weight-loss books)
Thoughtless (cookies for the diabetic, wine for the recovering alcoholic, or giving someone the same gift two years in a row)
Tacky (holiday apparel, stuffed animals for anyone older than 10)
Cliché (snow globes, coffee mugs, Chia Pets and, yes, fruitcakes)