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Early openings gave retailers a boost last weekend

December 6, 2013

Most businesses see an increase in the amount of electronic funds transfers occurring at their storefronts over the weekend of Black Friday.

Most businesses see an increase in the amount of electronic funds transfers occurring at their storefronts over the weekend of Black Friday. A new report suggests that businesses who draw consumers in to buy holiday gifts even earlier than that, however, find the most success. 

MasterCard recently reported that retail sales on Thanksgiving Day were up by more than 23 percent this year, while Black Friday sales went up by less than three percent – suggesting that consumers prefer buying holiday products as early as possible.

Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president of market insights for MasterCard Advisors, went so far as to note that the majority of consumer spending literally occurred at the first point of sale terminals shoppers reached during the holiday season. 

“MasterCard Advisors research has shown that 70 percent of consumer spend on Black Friday occurs at the first two stores a shopper visits,” said Quinlan. “With these kinds of holiday shopping statistics, it’s no wonder retailers are competing to open earlier and earlier every year so they can be the first to capture those critical dollars. And it appears this year, for the Electronics category in particular, it worked.”

Together, retail sales made across Thanksgiving and Black Friday increased by eight percent in 2013, according to MasterCard. Online shopping, specifically, grew by 19.4 percent for Thanksgiving and 12 percent for Black Friday when compared to figures from 2012. 

This is in line with previous statistics released by the National Retail Federation. That firm reported that shopper traffic on Thanksgiving Day itself rose by 27 percent this year, up to 45 million shoppers. That means more than 30 percent of all individuals who plan to shop for the holidays were out buying products during Thanksgiving. 

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