The good news, according to the National Retail Federation, is that 195 million U.S. shoppers visited stores and websites this past weekend, an impressive 13% jump over last year.
The bad news: average spending fell nearly 8% to $343.31 per person, the lowest level in four years, while overall sales were up only 0.5% versus last year’s total.
In sum, it looks like a lot more people came out to cherry pick the biggest bargains — but not much else. That doesn’t seem to be a particularly encouraging sign, especially for retailers’ margins.
Black Friday Verdict: As Expected, Number of Shoppers Up, Average Spending Down
National Retail Federation, November 29, 2009