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NRF CEO accentuates positive sales

NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay

After soft Black Friday, the National Retail Federation expects total holiday sales to increase 3.9% this year. 

Overall spending over Black Friday weekend was expected to hit $57.4 billion, according to the National Retail Federation, which is down 2.8% from last year’s $59.1 billion. It was the first spending decline on a Black Friday weekend since 2009. But there was some good news for retailers: Online sales soared over the holiday weekend.

The NRF estimated that 141 million Americans shopped during the four-day weekend, up 1.2% from a year ago. And the retail group is still expecting total holiday sales to increase 3.9% to $602 billion.

On average, the NRF estimated that shoppers spent $407.02 from Thursday through Sunday, down from $423.55 last year because of lower prices expected to persist through the rest of the season.

The NRF said holiday shoppers started shopping earlier than previous years, contributing to the decline in average spending.

“Cold weather, unique promotions and unbeatable prices put millions of Americans in the mood to shop for holiday gifts this weekend,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Retailers’ late night and early morning promotions struck just the right chord for those hoping to kick off the holiday shopping season with friends and family.

“Retailers will continue to aggressively promote their in-store and online offerings, looking to entice today's very budget-conscious and value-focused shopper," Shay added.

According to a NRF survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics over the weekend, traffic on Thanksgiving Day itself grew 27% as nearly 45 million shoppers, or 31.8% of holiday shoppers, took advantage of special “turkey day” savings offers, up from 35 million in 2012.  

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