Black Friday and Cyber Monday Retail Sales Skyrocket

November 29, 2011 | Eager holiday shoppers across the nation flocked to stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, spending a record $52 Billion on everything from toys to electronics, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). According to an NRF survey conducted by BIGresearch, a staggering 226 million shoppers (up from 212 million in 2010) shopped on the Friday after Thanksgiving and over the course of the weekend, purchasing clothing and accessories (51.4%), toys (32.6%), electronics (39.4%), home décor (21.3%), gift cards (23.1%), and jewelry (21.8%).

In a press release issued on Sunday, NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay called the Black Friday spending surge “a promising sign for the economic recovery.”

“After an historic holiday weekend, retailers know the holiday season is far from over and will continue to look for ways to excite holiday shoppers and build on the momentum we’ve seen thus far,” said Shay.

“We are thrilled to see that American families have regained some of their traditional optimism around the holidays this year, and there are some wonderful new creative toys available at reasonable prices that will help make this an especially joyful season,” said Carter Keithley, Toy Industry Association (TIA) President.

Nearly one quarter (24.4%) kicked off the weekend of discounts and deals early on Friday, showing up at stores by midnight. Only 9.5% and 3.3% of Black Friday deal-seekers were at stores by midnight in 2010 and 2009 respectively. 

Consumers spent an average of $398.62 over the course of the weekend, up from an average of $365.35 last year. The majority of people did their shopping at department stores (48.7%) and discounters (37.5%). Setting the stage for a successful Cyber Monday, 37.8% of total weekend spending took place online.

According to a press release issued by IBM early this morning, online spending on the Monday after Thanksgiving was up 33% over last year, with Cyber Monday consumers shelling out 2.6% more on an average website order ($198.26 compared with $193.24 in 2010).

Just over 10% of online shoppers used a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site on Monday, up from 3.9% in 2010; mobile sales also grew significantly, reaching 6.6% in 2011 versus 2.3% in 2010.

“Retailers that adopted a smarter approach to commerce, one that allowed them to swiftly adjust to the shifting shopping habits of their customers, whether in-store, online or via their mobile device, were able to fully benefit from this day and the entire holiday weekend,” said John Squire, Chief Strategy Officer at IBM Smarter Commerce, in the press release.