Black Friday Weekend Exceeds Expectations

Nov 29, 2011 12:17 AM  By

Neil Stern, retail analyst and senior partner for retail consultancy McMillan Doolittle, says the Black Friday weekend exceeded expectations but “retailers had to work for the business, opening at midnight.”

Black Friday and Cyber Monday seem to gain in leaps and bounds each year, and 2011 is no different.

According to a National Retail Federation survey, a record 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 212 million last year. Black Friday weekend, according to the survey, includes Thursday, Friday, Saturday and projected spending for Sunday.

Total spending reached an estimated $52.4 billion, according to the survey, and the average holiday shopper spent $398.62 this weekend, up from $365.34 last year.

Stern believes Cyber Monday will be huge because the Internet continues to grow and build faster than traditional retailers; and e-retailers continue to be more sophisticated in targeting offers with directed e-mail.

“The big question is will the momentum carry through the holiday season, and it’s probably too early to tell,” he says.

Although Stern believes Cyber Monday will be huge, he doesn’t think it will surpass figures from Black Friday.

“I haven’t seen Cyber Monday estimates, but my guess is that it’s unlikely,” Stern says. “Physical retail stores still drive 90% of the dollars and it’s hard to replace that traffic.”

Jim Tierney ( is a senior writer for Multichannel Merchant. You can connect with him on Twitter (TierneyMCM) and LinkedIn, or call him at 203-358-4265.