Sales on Black Friday rose 3% to $10.6 billion, according to ShopperTrak. That was slower than the 8.3% rise in 2007. Online sales for Black Friday grew 1% to $534 million, web tracking firm comScore reported, while Cyber Monday sales advanced 15% over last year to $846 million. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) shoppers spent an average of 7.2% more per person to nearly $373 during the four-day holiday weekend from Thanksgiving Day through Sunday with Black Friday being the highlight. Sales dropped 0.8% to $6 billion on Saturday and an additional 2.3% to $3.5 billion on Sunday. The amount each consumer spent on Cyber Monday dropped by 5% but the number of shoppers grew 22%. Total spending was $41 billion. But the NRF kept its forecast for total holiday sales growth of only 2.2% to $470.4 billion, saying momentum is likely to fall sharply in the coming weeks, forcing even more aggressive discounts by retailers. The degree of discounting will likely shave profit margins, and analysts note that retailers will be hard pressed to sustain sales gains as consumers are simply too scared to spend robustly amid the recession. They are putting away their credit cards and making cash purchases.
Bernard Sands Weekly Ratings Alert December 4, 2008