With the 2014 holiday sales season spread out longer, Black Friday is no longer the bellwether for holiday sales it once was, say veteran retail analysts.
Analysts offered a variety of numbers for the weekend, some showing sales increases, others showing decreases. The National Retail Federation reported that total projected sales were down 11 percent for the weekend, while spending over the entire holiday season will increase by 4.1 percent this year.
“We believe the drop in consumer spending was not a matter of consumers pulling back, but consumers responding to a much longer, heavily promoted and discounted holiday spending season that begins almost as soon as the Halloween costumes are returned to the attic,” said NRF SVP Bill Thorne. “Consumer spending for holiday gifts starts earlier and ends later as the post-recession consumer seeks the best deals at the price point they want to pay. Further, as mobile use continues to grow and on-line retailers become more competitive, the need to fight crowds in order to get the best deals becomes less important.”