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Record Black and Blu Friday Weekend

28 Nov, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Record number of holiday shoppers brave stores and online for discounted consumer electronics, including Blu-ray Disc players and movies

Consumers frequented and spent in record numbers on consumer electronics (including Blu-ray Disc players) at retail stores and online sites during the post-Thanksgiving Black Friday weekend, according to latest industry data.

A record 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites during the weekend — up from 212 million shoppers last year — spending an estimated $52.4 billion, according to a survey of more than 3,800 respondents conducted Nov. 24 to Nov. 26 by the National Retail Foundation. The trade group said the average shopper spent $398.62 during the weekend, compared with $365.34 last year. Nearly 38% of Black Friday weekend shopping occurred online, with the average online consumer spending $150.53.

Almost 40% of shoppers bought consumer electronic items, including Blu-ray Disc players, up from nearly 37% last year. Blu-ray and DVD movies were among the top three home entertainment purchase items.

More than 36% of Black Friday tech purchasers bought a “doorbuster” item — an increase of four percentage points from 2010.

“Many of the TVs, Blu-ray players and laptops I saw were discounted 30% or more, which could be a contributing factor to the rise as some shoppers may have broadened their definition of a 'doorbuster' based on the level of the discount,” Ben Arnold, director of industry analysis with The NPD Group, wrote in blog post.

Stephen Baker, VP of industry analysis with the NPD, said factors such as the weak economy and deep discounts for myriad products (outside of tech) may have prompted shoppers to take more advantage of all the Black Friday weekend savings available to them.

Indeed, the NRF survey found 28.7 million people shopped online and at stores on Thanksgiving Day — up from 22.2 million last year. More people than ever before also shopped online and in stores on Black Friday, as 86.3 million shoppers braved the crowds that day alone.

Nearly 28% of respondents said they planned to shop on Nov. 27, and a little more than 10% said they had completed their winter holiday shopping.

“Consumers are clearly demonstrating their desire to spend this holiday season, and shopping early and often seems to be their new mantra as they seek the best value for all their holiday purchases,” Phil Rist, EVP of BIGresearch, said in a statement.

Nearly 123 million Americans plan to shop on Cyber Monday (Nov. 28), up from the 106.9 million who shopped on Cyber Monday in 2010. Nearly 80% of retailers will have a special promotion for Cyber Monday, according to the NRF.

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