Consumers woke before dawn on the Friday after Thanksgiving to be first in line for bargains at the nation’s stores and malls and stayed late into the night. An independent survey by Chicago retail tracking and consulting firm, ShopperTrak, found retail sales up 12.3 percent to U.S. $7.4 billion on the Friday after Thanksgiving, compared to the same day last year. This time in 2001, right after the 9/11 attacks, sales only grew 2.7 percent over 2000. Estimated Saturday sales were $5.2 billion, a 9 percent increase over 2001. Wal-Mart Stores in the U.S. had record one-day sales of $1.43 billion on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Last year sales totaled $1.25 billion.
Retailers hope Black Friday’s sales results will jump-start year-round sluggish sales. However, big discounts on offer will cut into profits. Another drawback is that this year’s holiday shopping season is 6 days shorter than last year’s.
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, Thanksgiving weekend starts the shopping spree, but is no longer the busiest period of the season. Last year, the weekend accounted for 8.4 percent of holiday sales, while the last week before Christmas accounted for 34 percent. (Diamond.net)
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