The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Black Friday sales rise

The holiday season is off to
a solid start this year with the number of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers
increasing by 1.4% or two million from 2012. According to The National Retail
Federation, over [141 million unique shoppers] made their way to stores
(and online vendors) over the four- day weekend to take advantage of Black
Friday deals and other discounts.

Black Friday itself drew the biggest crowd – 92 million customers shopped the day after Thanksgiving, up 3.4% from 89 million shoppers last year. But the interesting trend in the kickoff to the holiday season is that many discounts and doorbuster deals are now starting as early as Thanksgiving day. And these deals aren’t going unnoticed: 31.8% of shoppers took time out of their Thanksgiving celebrations to purchase goods.

One of many, Best Buy opened its doors early this year – kicking off Black Friday sales on Thursday at 6 p.m. Mike Husting, a store manager at the Best Buy in Grapevine, claims the earlier opening time has been received well by customers.

“We opened earlier this year. It was a steady stream of people and people appreciated it,” Husting says.

Customers at the Best Buy Friday afternoon, while too late for the earliest deals, still packed the store waiting in line to take advantage of discounts on everything from flat screen televisions to refrigerators.

Across the street at Academy Sports and Outdoors, hundreds gathered to get deals on sportswear and athletic equipment. One customer, Bob Price, came over from the Best Buy, where he bought a Kindle for his daughter, and didn’t see the appeal in the holiday shopping rush.

“I think you gotta be crazy to get out on this day,” Price says.

Crazy or not, over 50% of respondents to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation said they would be shopping at some point during the four days of deals. Interestingly even more shoppers are deciding to purchase items on the relatively recent Cyber Monday – an estimated 131.6 million shoppers took to their computers and mobile devices on Monday, up 2% from 129 million shoppers last year.

Some stores, like sports apparel retailer Tyler’s, aren’t concerned with consumers shifting to online vendors.

“All of our internet inventory is based on what’s in our stores, so we’re not really concerned with that,” store manager Kasi Gentry says.

The recent trend, however, could spell trouble for brick and mortar stores.’s latest online holiday sales forecast predicts an approximate 14% bump up from last year to nearly $82 billion. In conjunction with a more spread out Black Friday season, increased online shopping is changing the face of Black Friday sales – although the troubles we’ve come to expect (violent outbreaks) still occur. Customer sentiment towards Black Friday is shifting too.

“I avoid it like the plague,” Walmart shopper Belinda Wright says. “There’s no way you’ll catch me up here for some 50 dollars.”

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, the S&P; 500 dropped 0.27% while the Dow fell by 0.48%. Average spending also fell this year – shoppers spent an average of $407.02 over the weekend, down 3.9% from $423.55 last year. According to the National Retail Federation, “low prices and aggressive discounts” in conjunction with the fact that “many holiday shoppers started shopping earlier than ever this year” influenced the drop in spending.

Regardless of the reasons for a drop in spending, it’s the outcome that counts. Last year holiday sales made up 19.2% of annual sales, and as a result we know that spending the next few weeks is crucial for many retailers. Statistics on retail sales released last month by the Department of Commerce showed a 0.4% increase in October. With the numbers released by the National Retail Federation projecting a strong holiday season, it’s likely that retail sales will continue to grow.

More to Discover