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‘Black Friday’ Fades as Weekend Retail Sales Sink

Wall Street Journal (11/30/14) Shelly Banjo; Drew FitzGerald

A National Retail Federation survey of 4,631 consumers on Nov. 28 and 29 reveals that retail spending over Thanksgiving weekend fell 11% from last year to $50.9 billion, with shoppers spending an average $380.95, or 6.4% less than during the same weekend in 2013. Even so, the trade group predicts that holiday sales will climb 4.1% over last year.

The decline can be attributed to retailers offering deals prior to Black Friday and the fact that shoppers do not feel like they have to rush out and snag deals during the Thanksgiving holiday, especially since brick-and-mortar retailers increasingly are offering free shipping on online orders and price-matching their online rivals. Moreover, experts say consumers remain thrifty despite the end of the recession, doing research online to find the best prices and becoming less likely to make impulse purchases.