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According to a report from ShopperTrak, sales were up this year for Black Friday by 3.6%. They also note that shoppers were "especially bullish" this year, and if by bullish they mean mobbish, then yes—that they were. A riot broke out over at Hollister in Soho because there were no shirtless hunks there to great hungry shoppers at midnight, as the brand's nationwide Black Friday incentive that involved shirtless staffers didn't extend to that location. So instead, shoppers broke down the door and looted it.
Over at Macy's in Herald Square, things were a little more tame. The WSJ explains that most shoppers walked out with one of the four following items on Black Friday: "Rampage boots for women, Justin Bieber perfume, Ralph Lauren pillows and Black & Decker toaster ovens." Macy's opened at midnight, and "targeted teen spending," hence the Bieber perfume and the $19.99 boots. And it looks like it was a success: Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren explains, "We knew the younger crowds would stay up all night while the Baby Boomers went for a nap."
Perhaps the question on everyone's mind is whether or not the early opening times (or depending how you look at it, the fact that employees probably had to go right to bed after a Thanksgiving lunch to prep for their midnight shift) affected profits. WWD thinks that it did:
"All of the extended hours, even into Thanksgiving Day itself, and the industry-wide blitz of promotions seemed to pay off. A record 226 million shoppers visited stores and Web sites over Black Friday weekend, up from 212 million last year, according to the National Retail Federation. The trade organization also said 28.7 million people shopped online and at stores on Thanksgiving Day, up from 22.2 million last year."
If you're curious just what that means in dollars, WWD adds that the average amount spent this weekend per person was $398.62 (it was $365.34 last year), totaling an estimated $52.4 billion (whereas last year, it was $45 billion). We hope that amid all of that spending, you were able to take a moment to drink some free coffee at Zara, ride around in a Kate Spade cab, and maybe catch one of those shirtless lifeguards.
· Black Friday 2011 Sets New Retail Sales Record [Shopper Trak]
· Soho Hollister Burglarized by Black Friday Mob [NYO]
· Macy's Plan: Boots, Bieber [WSJ]
· Black Friday Weekend Sets New Highs [WWD]