U.S. retail holiday sales up 2.3%Staff writer ▼ | December 2, 2013
The Chicago-based researcher reiterated its prediction that sales for the entire holiday season will gain 2.4 percent, the smallest increase since the last recession.
About 97 million people planned to shop online or in stores on Friday, with about 140 million intending to do so Thanksgiving through Sunday, the National Retail Federation said. That's down from 147 million last year. Sales on Friday fell 13.2 percent from last year, with foot traffic down 11.4 percent. Foot traffic for the combined Thanksgiving-Black Friday period rose 2.8 percent to more than 1.07 billion store visits, ShopperTrak said.
Online sales rose 20 percent from last year on Thanksgiving and 19 percent on Black Friday, according to IBM. Target said it had twice as many online orders early on Thanksgiving morning as a year ago. Amazon.com lured shoppers by offering discounts as often as every 10 minutes during the holiday week.
More than a dozen retailers also opened earlier or for the first time on Thanksgiving Day. Among the first-timers were Macy's, Kohl's, and J.C. Penney. About 33 million shoppers intended to shop on turkey day, said the NRF, a Washington-based trade group. ■