The second greatest things about the Thanksgiving break are the festivities the morning after the feast, Black Friday shopping deals. People line up hours in advance to get the deepest discounts on items for their holiday shopping needs, and this year was really no exception. More than $10.66 billion was spent on Black Friday this season. Sounds like a lot, but numbers showed that the amount of money that was spent relative to the amount of people who shopped was significantly lower than the numbers from last year. I guess that’s what happens when a recession hits!
This was not to say that stores did not still have strong sales on Black Friday. Walmart reported that their sales of Blu-Ray players were up 53% from the numbers last year. They also reported that the Playstation 3 sales hit record highs during the Thanksgiving week. Retail sales in general also jumped 1.3% in November, according to the Commerce Department, well more than the expected increase.
A new trend this year was the use of social media to spread the word about Black Friday deals. Because many companies did not have extensive advertising budgets due to the economy, many dedicated a small group of people to spreading word via Twitter and Facebook. They could have potentially reached 20% of their consumer base this way, and it seemed to have paid off.