This Black Friday saw record low sales with only a slight increase online.
By Tom Hushen
Anticipation for one of the largest shopping days of the year is always high, however The Associated Press has indicated shoppers may be moving away from all the hype. This year’s Black Friday showed an 11 percent drop in total spending, down from an estimated $57.4 billion in 2013 to $50.9 billion this year.
Analysts are scrambling to figure out why the drop in Black Friday shopping occurred, as well as why there was only a meager 8 percent rise in Cyber Monday sales. According to an article posted by Ashley Lutz on Business Insider, Black Friday is showing that most Americans are broke this shopping season.
In her article, Lutz explains how anticipation was built up this holiday shopping season due to the continuing decline of gas prices. Many analysts are pointing to higher premiums for health care and a lackluster growth in wage earnings as the cause for such a large drop this season.
There is also a new wave of people opting out of Black Friday sales and protesting against the shopping day. CNN Money posted an article on 75 protestors lining up in a Wal-Mart parking lot in North Bergen, N.J. The protest was comprised of members of unions such as United Food and Commercial Workers Union. This is the third year in a row union-backed protests have come together outside Wal-Mart stores throughout the nation. Each year, the groups have protested for higher wages, wanting to bring the $12.94 hourly average of Wal-Mart employees up to $15 an hour.
Even with the protests, Wal-Mart reported that its second-largest online sales day ever occurred this Thanksgiving. Other stores are also reporting an increase in online sales, including Target, which reported a 40 percent increase.
The drop in sales could still indicate a good shopping season for consumers. Many analysts are predicting Black Friday sales will run through the entire season, which may finally get people out to the stores.