Preliminary numbers suggest the 2014 shopping season will be a success and exceed 2013 levels. Some changing patterns are emerging, however, as shopping is perceived to be overall lackluster. There is a significant decline in the number of people actually out in stores shopping over Black Friday.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) tracks customer visits to stores as well as sales and they reported to CNN Money that as many as 5.1 million fewer people were in stores on Black Friday as compared to 2013. They report overall traffic down by 5% over the big weekend.
Shoppertrak, another tracking agency reports that many shoppers are buying online and spending less. They say it’s tough to predict whether consumers are spending less because they’re concerned about the economy or if they believe better deals are still to come. Nevertheless, Shoppertrak also predicts a higher 2014 sales volume over 2013.