U.S. holiday shoppers had more shopping options this Thanksgiving week-end since more retail stores opened their doors early on Thursday with retailers hoping to better compete against 24 hour e-commerce sites and entice more shoppers to spend money in their stores during the most important shopping season of the year.
According to latest sales numbers released on Saturday from Shopper Trak, Black Friday store sales decreased slightly while Thanksgiving store sales have gone up.
Shopper Trak Founder Bill Martin reported that Thanksgiving store visits increased 27.3 percent while Black Friday visits were down 5.6 percent.
Although the volume of shoppers and store sales on Black Friday is down slightly year over year, the total week-end sales over Thanksgiving week-end have not suffered and are expected to be flat compared to last year.
Shopper Trak reported on Saturday that Thanksgiving and Black Friday’s combined sales are projected to be approximately 12.29 billion, a slight .5 percent decrease from 12.35 billion in the same holiday period of 2013.
“We need to be cautious about looking at a single day or two in projecting the season’s total” admitted Shop Trak Founder Bill Martin.
“In 2013 the Black Friday week-end produced a 1 percent gain, underperforming the 3.1 percent gain for the entire season. There is a significant amount of energy left in the consumer with 7 of the top 10 sales days of the year yet to come, including Super Saturday which is projected to be the number one spending day of the year” Martin stated.
U.S. retailers may also take a little comfort in the recent decline of oil during the past several weeks.
Oil is currently at the lowest level since 2009.
Lower gasoline prices at the pump could help Americans to have more disposable income for future purchases this holiday season.