Thanksgiving weekend shoppers were hungry for sales. The National Retail Federation says the numbers are in and they're huge.
Stores generally rely on sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas to make up 20% of their annual revenue. With unemployment stuck at 9% and US debt now at $15 trillion, retail sales weigh heavily on the 2011 economic outlook. According to the National Retail Federation, numbers are up 16% from last year, with shoppers spending more than $52 billion dollars, totaling nearly $400 dollars per person.
Overall, there were more people spending this year, 226 million shoppers hitting stores as well as online shopping over the weekend. Nationwide, nearly a quarter of those shoppers made it to stores by midnight.
"For the most part, people are in a better position than they were 3 or 4 years ago," Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation said. "They've paid down debt, they've put money into savings, and that means they're a little bit comfortable shopping."
Next stop for retailers, Cyber Monday. Shoppers are on track to put that day in the record books, as well. Experts say revenue from this year's "Cyber-Monday" could exceed $1 billion for the first time.
A few good to know tips to keep in mind:
- Get organized before you shop
- Use a spreadsheet to compare prices and know what you want to buy, so you're not distracted
- Pay attention to extra costs, a good deal is only a good deal, if you don't have to pay a lot for shipping and handling.
- And you may be able to shop in your pajamas but don't think you get to sleep in. You're still going to have to get up early to fight the virtual crowds for popular items or limited supplies.
According to a new study by World Vision, more than half of the Americans say they`re now more likely to give a charitable gift this holiday season than a traditional present. Online shopping is also a popular option for making those donations.
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