NEW YORK (12/2/14)--The allure of Black Friday blowout sales apparently wasn't enough to stir up shopping activity this year, as sales for one of the busiest shopping weekends on the calendar fell 11% below levels seen last year at this time, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
While the Credit Union National Association in its holiday spending survey--conducted with the Consumer Federation of America--found that spending likely would increase by about 3% this holiday shopping season, CUNA leaders were expecting a modest advance.
"Elements of our survey underscore the fact many consumers continue to reflect significant concerns about their personal finances, most especially in the realm of weak income gains," said Mike Schenk, CUNA vice president of economics and statistics (News Now Nov. 25).
That modesty was certainly revealed in this year's Thanksgiving Day weekend turnout, as the NRF reported that more than 6 million consumers who were expected to file in to stores chose to stay home (Bloomberg.com Dec. 1).
Retailers may have seen a dive in sales because of nationwide protests from consumers calling for boycotts of Black Friday to make a statement about police violence, according to Bloomberg, which also said that aggressive discount offerings and longer hours on Thanksgiving and the day after failed to move the needle.
Still, despite the weak weekend, the NRF believes the shopping season holds much promise.
"The holiday season and the weekend are a marathon, not a sprint," said NRF CEO Matthew Shay. "This is going to continue to be a very competitive season."