First Data has produced a year-over-year comparison of shopping volumes for Black Friday 2010 vs 2009. The bottom line looks positive for this point in time reading:
On Black Friday 2010, card spending growth returned to pre-recession levels. Overall, consumers responded favorably to aggressive Black Friday marketing campaigns which resulted in year-over-year same-store dollar volume growth of 12.3%. Transaction growth showed strength at 10.1%. Americans also substantially increased their Thanksgiving-related travel and food consumption. Overall dollar volume growth was particularly good in light of solid spending in the comparable Black Friday of 2009 when year-over-year dollar volume growth was 4.8%. The Retailer merchant category saw somewhat more muted dollar volume growth of 8.6%.
As might be expected, growth was uneven across retail segments, with surprising weekness in consumer electronics:
General Merchandise Stores (including Value Retail), which outperformed all other retail sub-categories with dollar volume growth of 12.6%. Clothing sales were quite strong as Clothing/Accessory Stores posted dollar volume growth of 10.6%. Sporting Goods/Hobby/Book and Music Stores saw dollar volume growth improve to 12.2%. Conversely, the higher ticket category of Electronics/Appliances fared poorly and was down -6.7% compared to last year.
Average ticket sizes were up a modest 1.1%, suggesting continued caution on the part of consumers. As we have commented elsewhere, it will be interesting to see if these early positive trends also represent a positive trend for the entire season, or are an uptick driven by merchant Black Friday promotions and the resulting shifts in consumer shopping patterns that they drive thanks to the emphasis consumers now place on Black Friday specifically.
See the original press release at: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20101129006522/en/Data-Releases-Black-Friday-2010-SpendTrend%E2%84%A2