Black Friday shopping weekend brings mixed results

Black Friday shopping weekend brings mixed results

Posted:
The owner of Obligato boutique says she saw an increase in sales from last year. The owner of Obligato boutique says she saw an increase in sales from last year.
The owner of M.S. McClellan said they saw good shopping crowds for Black Friday and Shop Local Saturday. The owner of M.S. McClellan said they saw good shopping crowds for Black Friday and Shop Local Saturday.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The biggest shopping weekend of the year is over and the numbers may be a bit misleading at first.

More than 141 million Americans went shopping this weekend. That's an increase of two million from last year. On Black Friday, consumers spent nearly $10 billion, which is down 13 percent from last year.

However, 47 million people went shopping on Thanksgiving day and the combination of the two shopping days puts sales up 2.3 percent from last year.

The combination of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday meant big crowds for local businesses, but the results were mixed.

"It improved for sure," said the Kathryn Cunningham, the manager of Obligato boutique in Bearden.

Down the road, the owner of M.S. McClellan said they saw similar results.

"This year was much better," said Bob McClellan.

Employees at Smart Toys and Books was not as enthusiastic.

"In general, this weekend we were about the same as last year, but Black Friday we're a little bit down," said Kelley Blankenship of Smart Toys and Books.

With big box stores opening up on Thanksgiving, nationwide and locally, some retailers saw a decrease in sales on Friday.

"We think maybe because more of the big chains are opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving day that it's kind of drawing people from shopping on Black Friday," said Blankenship.

Saturday, shoppers showed up to support their local businesses.

"Small Business Saturday, we were up from last year, so that might show a different trend. People are coming out more on Small Business Saturday to shop small. That was a good positive for us," Blankenship said.

With big box stores offering steep discounts, many small businesses did their best to compete. 

"We don't rely on door busters or things like that but we did have a promotion for Shop Small," McClellan.

"We did a tier level. Spend an "X" amount of dollars, save "X" amount of dollars, and that got an awesome response too. So we were definitely excited about it," Cunningham said of their Black Friday sales.

With this past weekend making up a large portion of holiday business, retailers say overall, things are looking up.

"This is the make it or break it season," the manager of Obligato said.

At Smart Toys and Books, they're looking ahead to the regular shopping season.

"We think we'll have a really strong December and we think our sales will increase next year as the economy continues to get better," Cunningham said hopefully.

This year the average shopper spent just over $407 this Black Friday weekend, which is down almost 4 percent.

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