News / Economy

US Holiday Weekend Sales Dip; E-commerce Jumps

Shoppers troll for sales at Cherry Creek Mall, in Denver, Colorado, Nov. 29, 2013.
Shoppers troll for sales at Cherry Creek Mall, in Denver, Colorado, Nov. 29, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
— Heavy discounting took a toll on U.S. retail sales during the Thanksgiving weekend as shoppers spent less than they did a year earlier, according to data released Sunday by an industry group.
 
That could be an indication of a more difficult season for many retailers. One bright spot this weekend, according to the data, was e-commerce as online sales soared.
 
The National Retail Federation estimated the average shopper spent $407.02 over the weekend, or 3.9 percent less than during the same weekend last year, because of lower prices it said would persist through the rest of the season.
 
“Retailers will continue to aggressively promote their in-store and online offerings, looking to entice today's very budget-conscious and value-focused shopper,” said NRF Chief Executive Matthew Shay.
 
The NRF said 141 million people went shopping at least once during the holiday weekend, up from 139 million last year. Total spending was expected to reach $57.4 billion for the four-day period - which includes Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year - down 2.8 percent from $59.1 billion over the same weekend in 2012.
 
The big deals will also dent profit margins, analysts said.
 
“Sales will go up, but gross margins are going to be down. 'Doorbusters' were what people were shopping for, more than the regular-priced stuff,” said Ron Friedman, retail practice leader at the consulting firm Marcum LLP.
 
The Thanksgiving weekend, anchored around Black Friday, is an early gauge of consumer mood and intentions in a season that generates about 30 percent of sales and nearly 40 percent of profit for retailers.
 
But many have given modest forecasts for the quarter. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it expects no growth in its comparable sales, and Macy's Inc. didn't raise its full-year sales forecast despite strong numbers last quarter.
 
The shorter holiday period this year - there are six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas compared with 2012 - prompted retailers to begin offering sales on Monday, something Shay said likely brought in some sales earlier in the week.
 
The NRF stuck to its forecast for retail sales to rise 3.9 percent for the whole season.
 
ComScore Inc., an analytics firm whose data is closely watched by Wall Street, said U.S. online sales rose 17.3 percent on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, outpacing sales growth at brick-and-mortar stores.
 
Retailers are also being aggressive online as they look to benefit from Cyber Monday, which falls on Dec. 2 this year. Cyber Monday is the biggest sales day of the year for e-commerce.
 
J.C. Penney Co Inc. and Macy's were among retailers that had already begun their “Cyber Monday” sales on Sunday, looking to keep the momentum going. Target Corp. was calling the occasion “Cyber Week.”
 
“They're going to continue to trot out deals,” Moody's analyst Michael Zuccaro said.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7217
JPY
USD
102.17
GBP
USD
0.5949
CAD
USD
1.1009
INR
USD
60.326

Rates may not be current.