Black Friday, Cyber Monday Bring Brisk Business For Retailers

Shoppers brushed off fears about the economy to cash in on big savings.
Nearly 57 million people shopped on Saturday and about 26 million people shopped on Sunday. The number of people who shopped on Thanksgiving Day rose to 16.2 million, up 48% from last year's 10.9 million Thanksgiving shoppers.

The NRF predicted that shopping would slow over the next several weeks because Americans completed more of their shopping over the weekend compared with previous years.

"Though retailers should be encouraged by strong traffic and sales over the weekend, consumers are still being cautious," Phil Rist, executive VP of strategic initiatives for BIGresearch, said in a statement. "Weekend shoppers indicated that they are still sticking to a budget and thinking carefully before making any holiday purchases."

Discount stores ranked among the most popular destinations, drawing more than half of the weekend's shoppers, according to BIGresearch. Forty-three percent of weekend shoppers visited traditional department stores. That's up 11.1% from last year. About one-third of shoppers visited specialty stores. Thirty-six percent visited electronics stores and 34% shopped online.

Clothing and accessories were the most popular buys, with 50.9% of shoppers acquiring them. Nearly 40% bought books, DVDs, CDs, and video games. Nearly 36% bought consumer electronics, compared with 28.5% of shoppers who bought toys.

Although gift cards have topped recipients' wish lists, purchases dropped 10% from last year. Only 18.7% of shoppers bought a gift card over the weekend, compared with 21% last year. NRF's holiday sales prediction for the year is that shoppers will spend $470.4 billion, up 2.2% from last year.

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