Sales on Black Friday Eaten Into by Thanksgiving

The first results of the Thanksgiving weekend holiday shopping is that by opening on Thanksgiving Day, retailers made Black Friday a bit less crazy.

Overall, sales at brick and mortar stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday were up 2.3% from 2012, to reach $12.3 billion, said a report that was released on Saturday by retail industry research company ShopperTrak.

However, the opening earlier of stores on Thursday, cut into Black Friday sales, which were lower this year compared to 2012 by 13.2%.

The founder of ShopperTrak, Bill Martin said in a statement that the shopping experience on Black Friday is changing. Today more shoppers have chosen to shop on Thanksgiving rather than on Friday.

In every region of the country sales were higher except for the Northeast, said the research company. However, on Wednesday, the Northeast had a storm to deal with and a windy and cold aftermath for two days following its departure.

While sales at brick and mortar stores edged up, sales online rose, particularly the sale of mobile devices.

A survey by IBM of 800 retail sites on the Internet showed that sales for mobile devices were up over 40% from last year’s Black Friday, accounting for over 20% of all sales transactions online Friday and for over 25% on Thanksgiving.

While people using smartphones are more apt to browse at different merchandise, the report indicates that those who use tablets are more apt to hit the checkout button.

Sales of tablets accounted for over 14% of sales online during Black Friday, which was close to twice the sales for smartphones.

Users of tablets also spend on average $133 in each order, which is 15% more than shoppers who use smartphones.

IBM said that total sales online year over year were up 19.7% Thanksgiving Day and close to 19% for Black Friday.

Retail analysts expected holiday sales to be lackluster. Even though gas prices have dropped and the stock market is at all time highs, concern about the economy in 2014 and the possibility of another fiscal crisis with the federal government has dampened consumer confidence as holiday shopping starts to rev up.

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