Black Friday or Red Friday?
NEW YORK - The nation's retailers had a strong start to the holiday shopping season, according to results announced Saturday by a national research group that tracks sales at mall-based stores. One big exception was Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which said it expects to report same-store sales in November below its already lackluster forecast.From personal observation, I have to wonder how strong retail sales were this weekend.
According to ShopperTrak RCT Corp., which tracks total sales at more than 45,000 mall-based retail outlets, total sales rose 6 percent to $8.96 billion on Friday, the start of the holiday shopping season, compared to the same day a year ago.
"Although we anticipated a solid consumer turnout for Black Friday, this data shows an even larger increase than expected as consumers proved they were willing to spend," said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak, in a statement.
Wal-Mart, however, estimated it will post a 0.1 percent decline in same-store sales, or sales at stores opened at least a year, in November. That's slightly below its original projections for flat sales for the month, compared to the year-ago period. The results cover the four-week period that ended through Friday. Same-store sales are considered a key indicator of a retailer's health.
J.C. Penney Co. said in a separate statement released Saturday that the holiday shopping season was "off to a good start."
"We have seen brisk traffic in our stores, and our 'redbox gifts' selection is being well-received by customers," Penney said, referring to its holiday must-have items. It said that home entertainment, fashion jewelry, children's apparel, housewares, holiday decorations and women's shoes were among the most popular items Friday.
Wal-Mart and other major retailers are expected to report final same-store results for November on Thursday.
Dear Wife did most of the shopping this weekend, but I ventured out twice with her. Both trips were to a Sears store in Boynton Beach.(The same one I gave a Knucklehead award to). In spite of holiday promotions, including a 10% off the entire store sale, the store was no busier than normal. Other than during her Friday morning shopping, Dear Wife said the mall and shopping areas were hardly busier than normal.
It will be interesting to see if our observations match the retail sales figures for November.
Linked to- Basil's Blog, Woman honor Thyself, Pursuing Holiness,