Black Friday sales increased 6.6 percent to the largest amount ever as many U.S. consumers unleashed pent-up demand and bought for themselves.
Shoppers spent $11.4 billion yesterday, ShopperTrak said in a statement today. Foot traffic rose 5.1 percent, according to the Chicago-based research firm.
“This is the largest year-over-year gain in ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate for Black Friday since the 8.3 percent increase we saw between 2007 and 2006,” ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin said in the statement. “Still, it’s just one day. It remains to be seen whether consumers will sustain this behavior through the holiday shopping season.”
The brisk turnout came as retailers from Gap Inc. (GPS) to Wal- Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) to Toys “R” Us Inc. opened their doors earlier than ever.
Many shoppers were rookies who had never before participated in the busiest shopping day of the year, dubbed Black Friday because many retailers are said to become profitable then. As many as 152 million people were expected to shop at stores and websites on Black Friday, up 10 percent from last year, according to the National Retail Federation.
It's fine to say "Hey, you guys are fighting over scraps from the big kid's table!" but it looks like half of America went in and played these little reindeer games anyway. Not me, ever since I worked Black Friday in retail in the 90's, I never wanted anything to do with it again. It's crazy. But I'm not blaming anyone who does go for it.
And yes, $2 waffle irons may be rampant consumption, but hey, that drives the economy, folks.