Initial reports indicate that the kickoff to the holiday shopping season went well for the nation’s retailers.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), 133 million shoppers hit the stores the weekend after Thanksgiving. A survey conducted by BIGresearch for NRF found that the average shopper spent $265.15, bringing total weekend spending to $22.8 billion. The $22.8 billion represents more than 10% of the $220 billion expected in total holiday sales this year.
The majority of shoppers headed to discounters (61.8%) though department stores (44.3%) and specialty stores (40.5%) also saw strong traffic. As expected, online retailers also had a solid weekend, with nearly one in three consumers (29.3%) choosing to do some of their holiday shopping over the Internet.
Of course, there are those folks who think that the rampant consumerism and materialism taint the religious aspects of the season. And these concerns have merit — to a point.
We suggest that many of these well intentioned grinches are missing another important aspect: it’s fun (and meaningful) to buy presents for colleagues and clients, families and friends — those we hold near and dear.
So, merry gift-buying to you and yours, and cheers to a profitable December.