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Black Friday shows little improvement

Black Friday
Black Friday
Curt A. Hodapp

Sunday, November 29, 2009 - According to ShopperTrak, an agency that measure retail traffic and being reported by Reuters on Saturday. Retail sales rose 0.5 percent for Black Friday. Total increase in spending was a mere $54 million increase over 2008 retail totals for Black Friday.

Total Black Friday sales were $10.660 billion.

Black Friday shopper traffic was heavy throughout the country as consumers responded to early openings and promotions that enticed shoppers to buy as there were no guarantees the heavy price cutting would continue following Thanksgiving weekend. This was verified by ShopperTrak when they reported that traffic began heavy as early morning shoppers were looking for bargains. Traffic slowly dropped off as the day progressed.

Bill Martin, the co-founder of ShopperTrak said, “Looking ahead, we should see some strength early on Saturday, but things will begin to taper off later in the day which will most likely continue into Sunday.”

The remainder of the holiday weekend was brisk at retails stores throughout the metro area; not nearly as bountiful as retailers hoped. "This will be the hardest holiday season ever to predict," said Eric Karson, associate professor of marketing at the Villanova University School of Business in Pennsylvania.

"We have this big game of chicken now evolving between the retailers and the customers," Karson said. For many experts, the only way retailers can survive this holiday season is to offer deeper discounts to attract those consumers which continue to look for the best deal that they can. Only time will tell on who will win this game of chicken and the odds are on the consumer.