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Retailers Remain Optimistic After Modest Black Friday Sales

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Despite deep discounts, non-stop email promotions, extended hours and and splashy ads, Black Friday wasn't quite the knock-out success that retailers hoped for.

    According to WWD, most retailers are expecting to see modest sales growth this holiday season between 3 and 4 percent.

    Some reports, however, offer a more optimistic view of the retail landscape: according to a release by the National Retail Foundation, spending for Black Friday weekend hit $59.1 billion, a whopping12.8 percent increase from the $52.4 billion spent during 2011.

    ShopperTrak, a foot traffic and counter technology firm, had more modest findings.

    “Consumers responded to Thursday’s promotions greater than we expected and better than retailers might have expected, which siphoned off some dollars from Black Friday,” ShopperTrak CEO, Bill Martin, told WWD. The company also estimated that BlackFriday generated just $11.2 billion in sales versus $11.4 billion the year prior.

    Many retailers tried opening doors on Thanksgiving Day for the first time last week, including Gap, which kept 1,100 store fronts open during the holiday.

    “We felt that there was good demand pretty early on," Mark Breitbard, president of Gap North America, told WWD. "It dropped down and then there was steady flow in the early morning hours through the rest of the day. We will be studying this to see how the traffic patterns have changed by opening a little bit earlier to understand the consumer dynamics. A lot of people said there wasn’t as much frenzy, but we still saw lines out the door."