NRF: Black Friday Weekend Spending Rises 12.7%

Nov 25, 2012 11:33 PM  By

Total Black Friday weekend spending online and in store reached an estimated $59.1 billion, up 12.7% from $52.4 billion last Black Friday weekend, according to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGinsight.

According to the survey, traffic and spending grew over the entire weekend, which includes Thursday, Friday, Saturday and projected spending for Sunday.

More than 35 million Americans visited retailers’ stores and websites on Thanksgiving Day – up from 29 million last year – scoring deals on everything from hot electronic items to cashmere sweaters and toys.

More people than ever before also shopped online and in stores on Black Friday, as 89 million shoppers braved the crowds, up from 86 million last year.

According to the survey, a record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 226 million last year. Making sure to take advantage of retailers’ promotions to the full extent, the average holiday shopper spent $423 this weekend, up from $398 last year.

Holiday shoppers ventured out as soon as they could on Thanksgiving night. According to the survey 28.0% of weekend shoppers were at the stores by midnight on Black Friday, compared to 24.4% last year.

The weekend shopping bonanza wasn’t limited to stores; consumers also spent more of their holiday budget online. According to the survey, the average person spent $172.42 online over the weekend, or approximately 40.7 of their total weekend spending, up from 37.8% last year.

NRF also asked shoppers which days they shopped online – more than one-quarter (27.0%) of holiday shoppers said they shopped online on Thanksgiving Day, and nearly half (47.5%) on Black Friday.

“There’s no question that millions of people were drawn to retailers’ aggressive online promotions this weekend, making sure to research and compare prices days in advance to ensure they were getting the best deal they could,” said BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow, in a press release. “However, with shopper traffic increasing at department, discount, and clothing stores over the weekend, it’s clear that consumers still recognize Black Friday as one of the biggest shopping days of the year, as they have for decades.”

Lured by deep discounts and practical spending habits, eight in 10 (79.6%) shoppers took advantage of retailers’ weekend promotions to buy non-gift items.

Over their weekend shopping trips, looking for both “self-gifts” and gifts for others, nearly six in 10 (57.7%) bought clothing and clothing accessories, up from 51.4% last year. Gift buyers also bought toys (34.6%), books, CDs, DVDs, video games (39.8%), electronics (37.7%), and jewelry (15.2%). Nearly one-third (32.6%) of shoppers bought gift cards over the weekend, up nearly 10%age points from the 23.1% who did so last year last year.

Looking to get the best bang for their buck and eager to get their hands on exclusive product offerings, more than half (53.5%) of shoppers visited department stores this weekend, up from 48.7% last year.

Additionally, consumers shopped at discount stores (39.4%), clothing stores (29.0%), electronics stores (33.0%), grocery stores (21.7%), and drug stores (12.7%). Taking advantage of retailers’ special online deals over the weekend, 43.8% of shoppers visited retailers’ websites, up from 35.2% last year.

The survey, conducted Nov. 23-24 by BIGinsight for NRF, polled 4,005 consumers and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.6%.