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According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), on the Black Friday weekend - the days after Thanksgiving, which marks the traditional start of the end-of-year holiday shopping season - 195 million shoppers visited stores and websites, up from 172 million last year. However, the average spending over the weekend dropped to $343.31 per person from $372.57 a year ago. Total spending reached an estimated $41.2 billion.

“Shoppers proved this weekend that they were willing to open their wallets for a bargain, heading out to take advantage of great deals on less expensive items like toys, small appliances and winter clothes,” says Tracy Mullin, NRF’s president/CEO. “While retailers are encouraged by the number of Americans who shopped over Black Friday weekend, they know they have their work cut out for them to keep people coming back through Christmas. Shoppers can continue to expect retailers to focus on low prices and bargains through the end of December.”

According to the report, “Shoppers’ destination of choice over the past weekend seemed to be department stores, with nearly half (49.4%) of holiday shoppers visiting at least one, a 12.9 percent increase from last year. Discount retailers took an uncharacteristic back seat, with 43.2 percent of holiday shoppers heading to discount stores over the weekend and another 7.8 percent heading to outlet stores. Shoppers also visited electronics stores (29.0%), clothing stores (22.9%), and grocery stores (19.6%). As millions of shoppers gear up for Cyber Monday, one-fourth of Americans shopping over the weekend (28.5%) were shopping online.”
KC's View:
It seems certain that most holiday shoppers are going to be walking into stores with a list, and if a product is not on the list, it likely is not going to be purchased. In other words, the same set of circumstances that most retailers have dealt with over the past year or so.

This certainly mirrors our experience. As in recent years, we spent the weekend in Chicago...but unlike past years, we did not come home with any Christmas presents. We looked a bit and created a list, but figured that we’ll wait a bit and see if we can do better over the next couple of weeks.

And, of course, we’ll be doing much of our shopping online...