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Taking a look back at Black Friday

Taking a look back at Black Friday

The biggest holiday shopping day of the year has come and gone, but it’s never too early for retailers to start planning for the next Black Friday. The National Retail Federation recently released statistics that show some interesting aspects of this year’s customer event.

“From green beans to great deals, millions of Americans found time this Thanksgiving to make the most of retailers’ promotions and enjoy a special family holiday,” said Matthew Shay, NRF president. “To keep their customers excited about holiday shopping, retailers will continue to offer attractive promotions through December, and provide strong consumer value with low prices, enhanced mobile and online offerings and unique product assortment.”

Below, we’ll review the survey and suggest ways to use this information to your advantage come Black Friday 2013.

Shoppers started their engines earlier than ever
Once again, retailers pushed their holiday promotions earlier, sometimes before midnight on Friday, and customers seemed ready to take advantage of the extra shopping hours. The survey found that 28 percent of weekend shoppers hit the stores before the clock struck 12 on Black Friday, up from 24.4 percent in 2011.

If the trend continues, it’s likely that shoppers will start even earlier in 2013. This means you should be ready to roll out your Black Friday promotions in your store windows and display cases even sooner than you did this year.

It’s not all about presents
Self-gifting proved to be a big draw this year, according to the NRF survey. Around eight out of every 10 shoppers, or 79.6 percent, said they tapped into promotions for non-gift items. So what “just for you” items do you need to promote on your display tables next year? This year, it seems that apparel and accessories were most popular, followed by toys, books, CDs, DVDs, video games, electronics and jewelry. Gift cards were popular, as expected – almost one-third of shoppers purchased a gift card this year, up from 23.1 percent in 2011.

Shoppers like to visit multiple retailers
Shoppers were looking to save on holiday purchases this year, and many turned to the web to find discounts. However, almost half of shoppers said they went online to buy on Black Friday, which suggests that some may have visited both online stores and brick-and-mortar retailers to find deals.