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Marketing gets people in store for Black Friday but fails to open their wallets

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According to figures released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) yesterday the marketing campaigns for the first official holiday shopping weekend were effective in getting customers through the doors of major retailers. However the report shows that once inside the customers were spending less than one year ago.

NRF says 141 million customers visited retailers during the four day weekend which included Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. This is an increase of two million over the prior year.

However total sales for the period were projected to be $407 million versus last year’s $423 million for the same period.

According to Retailing Today two factors make this decline even more alarming if the weekend indicates what will happen during the balance of the season. They cite that stores were open longer hours and that more stores were open on Thanksgiving Day.

According to CNN Money it is the additional Thanksgiving hours that are responsible for the overall decline. They are reporting figures from ShopperTrak that show a 13.2% drop in Black Friday sales while Thanksgiving sales were up.

This supports the traffic spotted in the Detroit area and previously reported by your Detroit Business Examiner. In Rochester Hills the Thanksgiving traffic overflowed Walmart’s parking lot while checkout lines extended into the clothing departments on Thanksgiving evening while the parking lot comfortably held the traffic the balance of the weekend.

NRF projects numbers based on sampling customers the same way movie producers report theater earnings for a weekend prior to the end of the actual weekend. This is based on the fine print in the NRF projection reports.

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