Retailers, consumers and prices
Black Friday has come and gone but what on earth happened at the cash registers over the Thanksgiving weekend? The data is trickling in, and so are the early critiques. (See our previous blogs: Treat Black Friday reports cautiously and Black Friday data spurs more questions than answers)
Here is a break down of the latest reports and what data is still to come:
According its 2008 Black Friday Weekend survey, conducted by BIGresearch and published on Sunday, the NRF said more than 172 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend (which includes Thursday, Friday, Saturday and projections for Sunday), up from 147 million shoppers last year.
Shoppers spent an average of $372.57 this weekend, up 7.2 percent over last year’s $347.55. Total spending reached an estimated $41.0 billion, up from $34.6 billion a year ago.
The results came from a survey that polled 3,370 consumers from Nov. 27-29. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.7 percent.
Retailers are geared up for the crucial three-day Thanksgiving shopping weekend, and many have already slashed prices to kick-start sales and rouse wary shoppers into spending mode.
“Thanksgiving food prices are up about 6 percent compared to last year,” said Corinne Alexander, a Purdue University agricultural economist.
Alexander said grocery store prices are increasing at a pace of 7.6 percent, compared with restaurants’ rise of 4.5 percent.
It’s that time of year again – supposed Black Friday ads are now starting to appear on online.
Numerous websites have cropped up in recent years that publish what they claim are copies of the newspaper ads retailers will run for Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving that marks the ultra-competitive launch of the holiday shopping season.
A Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, one three new “Signature” hot chocolate drinks introduced by Starbucks, could fit the bill. A tall, 12-ounce drink with whip cream packs a whopping 460 calories (with nonfat milk) — think of it as a doughnut in a cup.
This week, Starbucks also introduced two hot Piadini sandwiches. One is veggie with portobello mushroom, spinach, feta, ricotta and egg. The carnivore version is made with mild cheddar, sausage and egg.