Shopper traffic at Best Buy, J.C. Penney soars on Black Friday

Traffic during Black Friday jumped at many retailers including Best Buy.

Traffic during Black Friday jumped at many retailers including Best Buy.

(Patti Blake / Associated Press)

In the race for shoppers on Black Friday, electronics chain Best Buy and retailer J.C. Penney won the biggest surge of bargain-hunting shoppers, according to data from Foursquare.

On the day after Thanksgiving, which has traditionally kicked off the holiday season, Best Buy enjoyed traffic that was 4.2 times what its stores normally see on a typical Friday, Foursquare said.

J.C. Penney was close behind with 4.1 times the number of shoppers, according to the company, which collects its information through a geo-location search app on smartphones.


Macy’s -- closely tied to Christmas in many consumers’ minds because of the classic film “Miracle on 34th Street” -- came in third at 3.8 times, Foursquare found.

The final two chains were specialty retailers that aren’t typically associated with Black Friday: Dick’s Sporting Goods and Sports Authority both had about three and a half times their normal traffic.

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Winning shoppers over the holiday season is crucial to retailers, which can rake in as much as 40% of their annual revenue during the last few months of the year.

The National Retail Federation forecasts that sales during November and December will climb 3.7% to $630.5 billion, slightly below the 4.1% growth in the same period last year.

Chains with a brick-and-mortar presence are also facing fierce competition from online-only behemoths such as Foursquare found that retail foot traffic on Black Friday dropped 2% compared with the same day last year.

Black Friday sales at physical stores also fell. For Thanksgiving and Black Friday, sales totaled about $12.1 billion, according to data from ShopperTrak. That’s down from $12.3 billion during the same period last year.

Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ByShanLi


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