Retailers Project 3.1 Percent Gain in Black Friday Sales

BlackFridayCyberMondayCHICAGO-Retail sales during the upcoming Black Friday are expected to rise 3.1 percent, according to a survey of retailer chief marketing officers by BDO USA.

That projection is the same as the one the consulting firm reported from this survey at this time last year. The chief marketing officers also said they expect Cyber Monday sales to increase by 3.7 percent, down from last year’s forecast of 4.3 percent.

In its statement on the findings, BDO said they “reflect the shifting character of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as more retailers plan to open stores earlier on Thanksgiving Day, and as some brands such as Walmart and Amazon emphasize online deals throughout the season.” The company also noted that, while in-store sales actually declined during last year’s Black Friday, IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark said online sales on that day jumped 20.7 percent. “This highlights the ongoing shift in consumer preferences from brick-and-mortar to the convenience of e-commerce, particularly on a day known for long lines and large crowds,” BDO said.

In addition, the company said (quoting data from research firm comScore), there were 12 days during the 2012 shopping season that resulted in more than $1 billion in online sales. “Retailers understand that consumers are no longer limiting their shopping just to Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” said Ted Vaughan, BDO partner with the firm’s retail and consumer products practice. “Though they remain important shopping days, retailers feel less pressure to post major sales gains on these two days alone, and instead are focusing on offering a compelling experience for shoppers throughout the season.”