Surprise! Stores Are Busy on Black Friday

December 8, 2008

I always get a kick out of the droves of TV reporters that go out to the malls on the Friday after Thanksgiving and report that the malls are busy – as if they are surprised.

Even with the down economy, this year was no exception. I have been noticing full parking lots at area malls for weeks. I couldn’t find any parking anywhere near Macy’s at Carolina Place Mall. I had to park all the way down by Dillard’s (at the other end of the mall). For some reason, there is always ample parking at Dillards.

The Yahoo! Search Marketing blog had a positive post about how busy the stores were on what has become known as Black Friday. Some interesting facts about the article:

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2008 Black Friday Weekend survey, shoppers were headed to both the stores and to websites in droves. An estimated 172 million shoppers visited stores and websites on Black Friday weekend (Friday through Sunday), up from just 147 million last year. Shoppers are also spending more, an average of $373 this year – up from $348 last year.

E-commerce spending on Cyber Monday totaled $846 million – up 15% over a year ago. Overall, for the 4 day period from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, spending jumped 13 percent.

While overall holiday sales may (or may not) end up down as compared to last year, this is certainly a sign that times are not as hard as the media likes us to think.