Season’s beginning and cash registers ringing…sounds like the lyrics to a Holiday classic.
Classic in the sense that hoards and hoards of shoppers were pushing their way through doors of every mall in America, all vying for that illusive “steal of a deal.” Whether you chose to start shopping at midnight, twilight, or morning’s light, options were wide open as retailers extended the boundaries of Black Friday and pulled out all the stops to get shoppers’ attention.
What’s not cliché, nor was it entirely expected, was the 6.6 percent increase, or $11.4 billion, in in-store spending that took place this past Black Friday as reported by The New York Times. This staggering increase does not even account for single day online record breaking sales during Black Friday, which came in at a staggering $816M which translates into a 26 percent increase over 2010’s $648M spending (as reported by Com Score). To add further fuel to the “recession speculation fire” Cyber Moday e-commerce sales also catapulted through the roof, acording to IBM tabulations, with a 33 percent, an increase in average per order total from $193.24 to $198.26 – or in layman’s terms almost $52 billion in total sales – reported by the National Retail Federation.
Who? What? When? Where? Why and most of all…HOW, all come to mind when you digest these figures and marry them with the dialogue in the media these past few years screaming recession, recession. This sounds like a case for Ripley’s “Believe It Or Not”. Should we proceed with cautious optimism for brighter days? Or was Black Friday just a weird anomaly and spontaneous form of cathartic release for millions of Americans who’ve closely clutched their purse strings for so long?
Whether you view it as the glass half full, or half empty, this latest news gives a much needed resuscitation to many retailers and has some smiling all the way into the black. Let’s just hope our embattled West Hollywood retail community fared as well in light of their recent castration ceremony. Things That Make You Go Hmmm…
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