Black Friday 2011 Shoppers Predictions and Highlighted Deals

The 2011 Black Friday climate is far from certain. While in 2010 the economy grew at 3.0% that was a drop from 2009’s brisk 5.6% growth and the economy is now projected to slow to anemic 1.6% to 1.7% growth in 2011. The unemployment rate is at 9.1%, plus tens of millions more underemployed or no longer seeking work, and the US Federal Reserve doesn’t see unemployment getting below 8.5% until at least 2013.

This combined with continued foreclosure problems, a lack of credit, and the introduction of European sovereign debt problems that are seemingly beyond our control, or even that of Europeans, contribute to a continued concern and frugality for most US households.

Despite this concern, we’ve seen a counter-intuitive decline in US household savings rates. Recently above 7%, the highest in a very long time, they have dropped to 3.6% of disposable income in September, though that is still less frugal than the 1-2% we saw from 2005-2007. These factors paint a mixed picture of Black Friday for retailers. Specifically…

  • Spending on average will increase again from $365 to $385 as consumers spend more despite the negativity.
  • The amount of Black Friday shoppers will increase from 212 million last year to 225 million this year. This the biggest of all discount-focused days and will continue to capture the attention of more shoppers given the broader economic difficulties.
  • With more shoppers spending more money, Black Friday spending as a percentage of total holiday sales will increase significantly from 10.0% to 10.6%.
  • The amount of Black Friday online shopping will jump from $648 million to $705 million as people try to avoid stores, and online shopping because even more popular.