Black Friday Weekend Sales Rise 0.9%
Chicago ShopperTrak reported that the start to the critical holiday shopping season got off to a mixed start as Black Friday weekend reported a slight retail sales increase while posting a rather large drop in total U.S. foot traffic.
The company’s National Retail Sales Estimate (NRSE) and Retail Traffic Index (SRTI) showed a 0.9% increase and 19.3% decrease respectively for the three-day period as compared to 2007.
Breaking down the weekend, Black Friday kicked off the season in surprisingly strong fashion, with shoppers spending $10.6 billion throughout the day, a 3.0% increase over Black Friday 2007. While retail sales typically begin to level off following the Black Friday spending rush, Saturday ($6.0 billion) and Sunday ($3.5 billion) sales patterns seemed to reflect the turbulent economy as each day posted a decrease of 0.8 and 2.3%, respectively, as compared to 2007.
“Due to the current state of the economy, Black Friday’s $10.6 billion performance was a welcome sight for retailers,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “In looking at the rest of the weekend, we saw a rather uncertain consumer as Black Friday sales and promotions came to an end and various economic pressures drove consumers back home to wait for that next big sale.”
Blockbuster to sell Live Nation tickets
DALLAS and LOS ANGELES Blockbuster has signed a three-year agreement with Live Nation to become the exclusive physical retail ticket outlet for Live Nation Ticketing, Live Nation’s new in-house ticketing company, beginning with the start of the 2009 concert season.
Under the agreement, Live Nation will sell its retail tickets exclusively through approximately 500 Blockbuster company-owned stores in strategically chosen markets across the country that mirror Live Nation’s concert venue platform footprint.
The selected stores will offer exclusive blocks of tickets available only at Blockbuster during the first four hours of ticket sales, as well as general ticketing as long as supplies last. Blockbuster will be responsible for managing and operating all aspects of the ticket transactional experience.
“We are delighted to be teaming up with Live Nation, the world’s leader in live music entertainment. Not only will this agreement drive hundreds of thousands of customers to our stores, it represents another step in the transformation of Blockbuster into a brand that offers the most convenient access to entertainment,” said Jim Keyes, Blockbuster chairman and ceo. “We want customers to know that whatever their entertainment needs – from DVDs and games, to accessing tickets to some of the biggest concert events – they’ll find those needs answered at Blockbuster. Our mission is to be the customer’s one-stop entertainment destination.”
Staples 3Q earnings down 42%
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. Staples announced that total company sales for the third quarter increased 34% to $7 billion compared to the third quarter of 2007. Net income declined 43% year-over-year to $157 million, and earnings per share, on a diluted basis, decreased 42% to 22 cents, from the 38 cents achieved in the third quarter of last year.
North American Retail sales decreased 6% in the third quarter of 2008 to $2.6 billion, and comparable-store sales decreased 8% versus the third quarter of 2007. This reflects declines in average order size and customer traffic, as well as weakness in computers and accessories, business machines, and furniture, partially offset by strength in technology services and ink.
“Staples’ formula of focusing on customers and investing in our business continues to pay off with market share gains in these challenging times,” said Ron Sargent, Staples’ chairman and ceo. “We are pleased with our progress integrating Corporate Express, encouraged by our plans to drive store productivity in North American Retail, and enthusiastic about our top and bottom line opportunities in International.”