Black Friday Sales Plummet as Shoppers Opt For Thanksgiving Day

Shoppers spent significantly less money this Black Friday, but there was an increase in store traffic over the weekend as more consumers showed up on Thanksgiving Day.

Retail analytics firm ShopperTrak said sales on Black Friday plummeted by 13.2%, with traffic shrinking by 11.4%.

However, traffic and sales were up when counting the weekend as a whole with retailers opening their doors and offering "door buster" deals earlier than ever on Thanksgiving Day.

Brick-and-mortar traffic across Thanksgiving and Black Friday increased by 2.8% to more than 1.07 billion store visits, with retail sales rising by 2.3% year-over-year to $12.3 billion, according to ShopperTrak.

“Retailers’ late night and early morning promotions struck just the right chord for those hoping to kick off the holiday shopping season with friends and family,” National Retail Federation CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement.

According to a late Sunday report by the NRF, there were more than 141 million unique shoppers on Black Friday weekend (Thursday through Sunday), up from 139 million over the same time last year.

Yet, people spent less on average at just $407.02, compared with $423.55 last year. Total spending is expected to reach an estimated $57.4 billion, according to NRF estimates, down from a record $59.1 billion reached last year.

This year’s shorter-than-usual period between Thanksgiving and Christmas means retailers will continue to “aggressively promote” in-store and online offerings, Shay said.