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NRF: Black Friday weekend spending down 2.8%

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Overall spending over Black Friday weekend was expected to hit $57.4 billion, according to the National Retail Federation, which is down 2.8% from last year’s $59.1 billion. It was the first spending decline on a Black Friday weekend since 2009. But there was some good news for retailers: Online sales soared over the holiday weekend.

The NRF estimated that 141 million Americans shopped during the four-day weekend, up 1.2% from a year ago.

On average, the NRF estimated that shoppers spent $407.02 from Thursday through Sunday, down from $423.55 last year because of lower prices it said would persist through the rest of the season.

“Retailers will continue to aggressively promote their in-store and online offerings, looking to entice today’s very budget-conscious and value-focused shopper," said NRF chief executive Matthew Shay.

According to a NRF survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics over the weekend, traffic on Thanksgiving Day itself grew 27% as nearly 45 million shoppers, or 31.8% of holiday shoppers, took advantage of special “turkey day” savings offers, up from 35 million in 2012.

In other survey findings:

  • Black Friday was the biggest day: more than 92 million people shopped (65.2%) for apparel, electronics and more, up from nearly 89 million last year.
  • One-quarter (25.4%) of holiday shoppers were at stores by 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night; nearly four-in-10 (37.3%) were at stores by midnight, up from 28.0% last year. Early hours aren’t for everyone however; more than one-third (35.8%) didn’t arrive at stores until 10 a.m. or later.
  • Four-in-10 (42.1%) indicated they shopped online over the weekend, or approximately 59 million shoppers.
  • Nearly six-in-10 (57.5%) bought clothing and clothing accessories, 37.7% bought electronics, 34.5% bought toys, and 36.1% bought books, CDs, DVDs and video games. Additionally, 29.6% bought gift cards and 16.9% purchased jewelry items.
  • More than 76 million (54.2%) shoppers visited their favorite department store over the weekend, and nearly 55 million (38.9%) visited discount stores. Additionally, 32.2% (45 million) shopped at electronics stores and 28.7%, or 40 million, went to clothing or accessories stores for gifts.
  • Almost half (49.2%) of holiday shoppers over the weekend sought out information about promotions and sales via advertising circulars, and one-third (33.0%) conducted online searches to find the best deals. Additionally, 36.8% made sure to keep track of emails from retailers, 16.4% reviewed retail companies’ Facebook accounts for information, and 12.2% browsed stores to find bargains and sales.

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Walgreens, Evanston, Ill.

BY CSA STAFF
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Walgreens has opened the nation’s first net zero energy retail store, in Evanston, Ill. (A net zero building produces energy equal to or greater than it consumes.)

The new Walgreens features two wind turbines, nearly 850 solar panels and a geothermal heating and cooling system burrowed 550 ft. into the ground. Combined, the store’s energy-saving technologies and systems are expected to reduce its electricity consumption to 200,000 kilowatt-hours per year, which is about half of an average Chicago-area Walgreens’ store energy footprint.

Click here for the full story.


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Akamai to Acquire Prolexic

BY Staff Writer

Cambridge, Mass. — Akamai Technologies and Prolexic Technologies have signed a definitive agreement for Akamai to acquire Prolexic, a provider of cloud-based security solutions for protecting data centers and enterprise IP applications from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

Akamai provides solutions for defending Web sites and Web applications by leveraging the scale and intelligence of its global platform to protect against even the largest and most sophisticated DDoS and application-layer attacks. Prolexic combines DDoS mitigation solutions with security operations expertise for protecting data centers and enterprise IP applications.

By acquiring Prolexic, Akamai intends to provide customers with a comprehensive portfolio of security solutions designed to defend an enterprise’s web and IP infrastructure against application-layer, network-layer and data center attacks delivered via the Internet.

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