Shoppers spent $9.74 billion at stores in the U.S. on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that's typically the busiest shopping day of the year. That's a 13.2 percent drop from a year ago, according to data released Saturday afternoon by retail research firm ShopperTrak. However, combined spending over Thanksgiving and Black Friday rose 2.3 percent.
A few retailers opened stores on Thanksgiving for the last few years. This year, at least a dozen major retailers did so, with some opening earlier in the day on Thursday. That led some analysts to question whether the Thanksgiving openings would take away sales on Black Friday.
Online sales on Thanksgiving Day also rose, climbing 19.7 percent compared with a year ago, according to IBM Benchmark data.
Thanksgiving Day is eating into Black Friday shopping at U.S. retailers.
U.S. shoppers spent $9.74 billion at stores on Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday. That's a drop of 13.2 percent compared with the same day last year, according to preliminary data released on Saturday by research firm ShopperTrak.
The decline appears to be because more Americans were shopping on the holiday itself: Combined spending on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, which had previously been considered the official start to the holiday buying season until this year, rose 2.3 percent to $12.3 billion.
The data shows that Thanksgiving, which along with Christmas had been one of only two days that most stores are closed each year, is becoming an increasingly important shopping day for major retailers.
Black Friday used to be the time when retailers would open early and offer deep discounts to draw shoppers into stores. But a few retailers started opening on the holiday in the past couple of years. And this year, at least a dozen did so, with a few opening earlier on the Thursday holiday than they did last year.
The National Retail Federation predicted that 33 million, or almost a quarter, of the 140 million people who planned to shop during the four-day holiday weekend that ends on Sunday, would do so on Thanksgiving. And analysts had questioned whether the holiday openings would steal sales away from Black Friday or result in people spending more overall.
Retailers were pretty successful in drawing the consumers into the stores on Thursday,'' said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin, whose company counts how many shoppers go into about 40,000 stores in the U.S. But ``Thursday's sales came at the expense of Black Friday's