By some accounts, it was a record Thanksgiving weekend this holiday, with sales up 13 percent over last year.
From Black Friday, November 22 through Sunday, spending passed $59 billion, compared to $52.4 billion last year, said the National Retail Federation (NRF).
But the holiday may have outlived its useful purpose to retailers as a result of its success, said the NPD Group.
Black Friday, or the full Black Friday period, is gobbling up about 56 percent of tech sales during the holiday season. That means only 44 percent of tech purchases over the holidays will occur at more profitable prices.
“It’s tough to build a great holiday season, with…sufficient profits when this week accounts for such a high percentage of sales and so much of those sales are dependent on blowout products and prices,” said NPD analyst Steve Baker.
John Abt, owner of Abt Electronics in Glenview, IL (which sells car audio as part of its mix) told The Wall Street Journal, “I fear we are conditioning the customer to shop only on this one weekend.” Abt’s Black Friday sales rose 22 percent this year and Abt’s Internet sales spiked 64 percent on Thanksgiving.
The twist on this year’s Black Friday is that it has become a 4-day event, stretching from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. Thanksgiving attracted 35 million shoppers this year, up from 29 million last year, said the NRF. And Cyber Monday started on Sunday this year at Best Buy and some other retailers.
Each consumer spent on average about $423 over the weekend, up 6 percent from last year, according to BIGinsight. But it’s possible the totals may be stealing from spending over the rest of the holiday, said analysts.
NPD’s Steve Baker suggests retailers “rethink the value proposition that Black Friday has become.”