Black Saturday Retail Sales Down 0.8%

Although retail spending slowed a bit following the annually strong Black Friday, ShopperTrak RCT’s National Retail Sales Estimate on Tuesday reported combined Black Friday/Black Saturday sales increased 1.9 percent as compared to 2007–with each day posting total sales of $10.6 and $6 billion respectively.

Analyzing Saturday’s retail performance, sales fell 0.8 percent Saturday as compared to last year as many Black Friday sales and promotions ended, slowing retail activity, according to ShopperTrak RCT, which provides information and analysis of the movement of shoppers in retail environments. In comparison, Black Saturday 2007 increased 5.4 percent over 2006, with $6.1 billion spent throughout the day.  

“Saturday’s slower GAFO retail sales performance is a trend many retailers have  come to expect as consumers annually experience a bit of a spending hangover following the Black Friday shopping event,”  said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak, based in Chicago. “At this point, we anticipate sales levels will continue to slow this week as consumers will remain home, looking for additional holiday sales toward the end of the shortened 2008 season.”

ShopperTrak’s Retail Traffic Index reported total U.S. foot traffic for Black Friday fell a sharp 18 percent versus 2007, as shoppers visited fewer stores with a larger spend. Conversely, the company’s National Retail Traffic Index for malls (an unpublished, subscription-based number) reported a Black Friday traffic increase as compared to the previous year, showing consumers clearly visited malls with fewer trips to stores within each location.

“The fact that mall visits were steady while unique store visits fell points to a more efficient consumer looking to minimize unnecessary expenditures in today’s difficult economic landscape,” Martin said.