2011 was a record year for Black Friday spending, according to the latest report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF). Their annual survey of shoppers revealed that clothing and accessories remained by far the most common purchase. Electronics were the second most common purchase this year, overtaking books, CDs, DVDs, and video games for the first time. At New York City’s more than 30,000 stores, Black Friday weekend spending was approximately $1 billion this year.
Black Friday specials are heavily marketed by big box and chain retail stores, and so last year Small Business Saturday was created in response to help smaller neighborhood businesses benefit from increased consumer spending in the weekend after Thanksgiving. Sponsored by American Express and supported in New York City by the Department of Small Business Services, the second annual Small Business Saturday offered a variety of discounts and specials (PDF) at stores, restaurants, and bars across all five boroughs.
Finally, today is Cyber Monday, when bargain hunters turn their focus to online retailers. More than half of the shoppers in the NRF survey planned to make purchases online today—but only 16% of these said that they would do so at work, so it appears productivity isn’t likely to suffer as a result.
Statsbee is a column featuring interesting statistics about NYC, written by economists at the Economic Research & Analysis department within NYCEDC’s Center for Economic Transformation. (Image source)
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