RetailNext insights on Black Friday weekend

Tim Callan
Tim Callan
Chief Marketing Officer

More than 650 stores and 2.6 million shoppers analyzed in latest results

Yesterday RetailNext issued a press release about what specialty retailers saw on the Black Friday weekend.  Major takeaways include:


Specialty retail saw an overall drop, with traffic down 10.9% and conversion off 0.5 points year-over-year (YOY).  Fortunately, specialty retailers increased average transactional value (ATV) by 10%, leaving total sales down 4.7% compared to 2011.  Black Friday itself mirrored these trends, with year-YOY traffic down 9.2% and conversion off 0.7 points.  Once again a healthy ATV increase of 11.5% offset these weak points so that total sales were down a much milder 3.2%.


Shopping took place earlier than ever.  26% of specialty stores were open at midnight and a full 60% by 6:00 am on Black Friday.  By 1:00 pm on Black Friday, shoppers had completed 50% of the day’s shopping trips and 60% of its purchasing.  Likewise, we saw a shift to sales earlier in the four days betwixt Thanksgiving and the following Sunday.  Retailers open on Thanksgiving Day definitely did better than in 2011, but they mostly just moved their sales earlier into the week.  Among retailers who were open on Thanksgiving Day, sales were up 47% YOY on flat traffic (up 1.5%), with a strong ATV increase and a healthy conversion lift of 1.4 points.  However, these same retailers saw an 8% increase in sales for the four-day period from Thanksgiving to Sunday and an overall conversion reduction of 0.2 points.  The reason for this difference is that Sunday was considerably weaker than 2011, with retailers giving back much of the weekend’s previous gains.


The key period on Black Friday was 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, when retailers made 48% of the day’s sales on only 28% of its traffic.


We captured the essentials of the weekend in this infographic.  Enjoy.