Black Friday Disappoints

According to the WSJ, Black Friday wasn’t as big a hit as the traffic numbers suggest.

Black Friday sales rose only slightly from a year ago even though more shoppers visited stores, retail traffic monitor ShopperTrak said Saturday, setting the stage for another uncertain holiday season for retailers.

Sales increased 0.3% to $10.7 billion, according to ShopperTrak, which installs monitoring devices in stores to gauge traffic. Traffic rose by 2.2%, ShopperTrak said.

There are some other interesting bits of data in the report. For instance, online sales were up 16% YOY and cell phone purchases weren’t that big a deal.

I found the regional breakdown the most interesting. Sales were up 1.7% in the Northeast and 0.4% in the Midwest while in the West sales were flat and down 0.3% in the South. That’s a reminder that the effects of the recession and subsequent recovery aren’t evenly dispersed. In fact, it’s a reminder that the recovery exists tentatively if at all in certain areas.

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