Thanksgiving holiday dollar volume growth outpaced Black Friday growth, analysis finds

Many retailers were criticized for opening stores on holiday

ATLANTA — Holiday shopping got a big boost during Thanksgiving weekend, and most of the growth came from shopping on Thanksgiving itself rather than Black Friday, according to a new report.

First Data Corp., a payment processing company, released the SpendTrend report Friday, based on its tracking of same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debt, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks. The report found 9% growth over last year, compared with last year's 5.6% growth over 2011; by contrast, Black Friday spending growth was 3.4%.

"In addition to promotions and early openings, we saw many retailers make it even easier for customers to shop by providing a seamless integration of in-store, online and mobile initiatives that allowed shoppers to buy products wherever and whenever," First Data SVP information and analytics solutions Krish Mantripragada said. "While the start of the holiday spending season was robust, merchants will continue to monitor shoppers to see if they can sustain the spending growth through the holiday season."

The high growth on Thanksgiving itself may vindicate some retailers' decisions to open on Thanksgiving. Many retailers took heavy criticism from consumers for opening on Thanksgiving, while those that didn't often made a point to tell shoppers they would be closed for the holiday.

Average ticket growth for retailers was 3.8%, compared with last year's 1.9% growth over 2011, and overall transaction growth was 4.9%, with most of that coming from shopper foot traffic on Thanksgiving. Black Friday transaction growth was 2.2%.


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