This year, Black Friday showed higher sales than last year. But only slightly higher. And there were millions more shoppers out in force on Black Friday this year as well. The interesting thing, though, is that spending per person was lower than last year. So, even though more shoppers were out taking advantage of the deals, sales only showed marginal improvement over last year.
Personally, I think it encouraging that consumers were showing a little hesitation during Black Friday. It indicates that they are still wary of over-spending right now, and willing to continue the changes they have made to their spending habits during this recession.
Or it could just mean they were waiting for today, which is Cyber Monday. Today is expected to be the biggest online shopping day of the year, and many online retailers are offering special discounts and deals. As a result, it is little surprise that some believe that today may make up for the more prudent spending seen on Black Friday.
But whatever the case, how things go this holiday shopping season will probably have some bearing on what happens with the economy going forward.