New York, NY (CNS) – Shopping surveys are still showing strong signs of a struggling economy, with both in-store and online retailers showing losses over the Black Friday shopping weekend. In a poll conducted by the National Retail Federation, the average person spent $343.31, down from $372.57 a year ago.
Ellen Davis, NRF vice president, told reporters in a briefing on Sunday, “Retailers were focusing on lower price points in terms of getting consumers into the stores.” Davis also went on to say, “Department stores appeared to be emerging as the winners from Black Friday this year.”
Online sales improved in comparison to last year, but were still down according to Keynote Competitive Research, the industry analysis group of Keynote Systems that is a global leader in on-demand and Internet test and measurement solutions. The company reported that almost all of the sites on Keynote’s online retail shopping index showed slowdowns.
“Overall the quality of the sites tracked on Black Friday improved this year over last, with fewer showing major outages and issues impacting a large number of users,” said Ben Rushlo, director of competitive Research at Keynote.
“The best performing sites overall were Wal-Mart, Sears and Barnes & Noble. Each of these sites did very well during the Black Friday period (6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST). Overall, Wal-Mart was the most stable site, showing not a single error (100% availability for the day) and very little slowdown. Wal-Mart has struggled in the past with Black Friday traffic, but this year they got it right, offering their customers a consistently fast and reliable experience. Wal-Mart and the other good quality sites prove that with proper planning, load testing and focus it is possible to offer customers a pleasant online experience even when customer volume is the highest.”
The NRF has forecasted that sales will fall by one percent by the end of the holiday season in 2009.