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Black Friday

Two Days Under Our Belts – Anatomy of Black Friday

November 24, 2012 By Marshal Cohen, Chief Industry Expert

According to the two-day results from The NPD Group study, Anatomy of Black Friday, we have some encouraging numbers to share:

1) Twice as many shoppers this year plan to shop on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

2) The Doorbusters really worked. So far, 27.6 percent of consumers that shopped Black Friday stated they bought Doorbuster items (compared to 22 percent last year). It was evident that retailers planned better by having more merchandise in stock. And, yes, many stores are planning to continue with Doorbusters today.

3) Other highlights: 68 percent of shoppers stated they will continue to shop for the holidays after the Black Friday weekend is over – an important indicator for retailers wondering how much more time consumers plan to spend in stores. This is on par with the last two years, which was 67 percent in 2010, and 69 percent in 2011.

Traffic was up in several retail channels, including National Chain Stores, Mass Merchants, Electronic Stores, and Online … though not all had higher level of conversion rates. This is an important measure that compares shopping visits to actual purchases. So, increased foot traffic may have been up in some places, but that doesn’t mean shoppers were converted to buyers. Conversion rate was up only in Department Stores through Friday night, leaving plenty of work to be done for the other retailers.

Where did the first two days fall short? In the Anatomy of Black Friday Study, we ask why consumers didn’t shop/buy. The big drop offs this year versus last year were, “Waiting to shop online” (6%), “Too busy” (7%), “Had other things to do” (12%), “No Money” (30%), and the top reason for not shopping or buying was “Too Crowded” (43%). An interesting point to the last response in the list is that it was down by approximately 10% from last year, which means those extended hours did pay off for retailers with an additional 10% of shoppers not getting in on the buying action.

There’s more to come as we continue to monitor the results of the weekend. We will be watching what it is that drew people in to shop this weekend, and analyzing how that dynamic has changed over the years. It is a new world of retail and consumer behavior, so don’t miss out on what you can do this holiday season to drive your business as either a retailer or a brand.


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