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Retail Foot Traffic Up, Sales Slightly Down On Black Friday, Says ShopperTrak













CHICAGO, Nov. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Black Friday proved to be a mixed bag for retailers, as retail foot traffic increased over last year, but retail sales decreased slightly.

ShopperTrak, the world's largest counter of retail foot traffic, estimates that, when compared to Black Friday last year, retail foot traffic rose 3.5 percent, to more than 307.67 million store visits. Retail sales decreased 1.8 percent, however, with shoppers spending an estimated total of $11.2 billion yesterday.

"Black Friday continues to be an important day in retail," said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. "This year, though, more retailers than last year began their 'doorbuster' deals on Thursday, Thanksgiving itself. So while foot traffic did increase on Friday, those Thursday deals attracted some of the spending that's usually meant for Friday."

ShopperTrak said that total foot traffic by region, compared to 2011 Black Friday, changed as follows: 

Midwest: increased 12.9%

Northeast: increased 7.6%

South: increased 8.7%

West: decreased 11.3 %

Foot traffic increased by 0.7 percent in the apparel sector.

According to Martin, shoppers are returning to stores. Election-related distractions have ceased, the Northeast is recovering from extreme storms and consumer confidence is rising. Still, shoppers remain value-conscious, taking advantage of Black Friday deals – even if some of those deals started a bit early.

"Black Friday shopping continues to expand into Thanksgiving Day and will impact the way we look at all of the 'Black' weekend results, since more shopping hours allows for more shopping visits and a smoothing of sales across all of the days," said Martin.

Last year, Black Friday foot traffic increased over 2010 by 4.7%. In 2011, consumers spent $11.4 billion on Black Friday, up from $10.69 billion in 2010.

Overall, Black Friday has provided a strong kickoff to the main holiday shopping season – those days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. To sustain foot traffic and convert it into high sales, however, Martin says retailers will need to understand their shopper conversion rates to take full advantage of increased shopper opportunity. 

On Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 3:30 p.m. CT, ShopperTrak will present the sales and traffic statistics for the entire "Black" weekend.

Please follow this link to access graphics for Black Friday sales and foot traffic:

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