Shoppers Spent Less During Black Friday Weekend, NRF Says

Black Friday Shopping
Consumers spent $407.02 on average, a 3.9 percent decline from $423.55 last year, the National Retail Federation said in an e-mailed statement. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The average U.S. shopper spent less during the Black Friday weekend than last year, according to a survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation.

Consumers spent $407.02 on average, a 3.9 percent decline from $423.55 last year, Washington-based NRF said in an e-mailed statement. From Thanksgiving Day through planned trips today, the number of Americans who shopped at stores and websites rose 1.4 percent to 141 million for total spending of $57.4 billion, according to the survey of more than 4,400 people by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Retailers lured shoppers to their stores and websites during the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season with discounts ranging from a $98 32-inch flat-screen television from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to a Nook e-reader for $39 at Barnes & Noble Inc. While chains traditionally ramp up promotions for Black Friday, there was expected to be even more this year because much of the retail industry experienced slowing sales ahead of the holidays.

The estimates, based on earlier survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics, showed that shoppers planned to spend 1.9 percent less over the entire holiday-shopping season.

Sales at brick-and-mortar stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday rose 2.3 percent to $12.3 billion, according to a report yesterday from ShopperTrak. The Chicago-based researcher reiterated its prediction that sales for the entire holiday season will gain 2.4 percent, the smallest increase since 2009.

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