Retailers opened more stores than ever on Thanksgiving Day this year in an effort to boost holiday sales and give customers more time to take advantage of Black Friday deals.
But the earlier openings largely detracted from Black Friday’s sales, leading to a lackluster Thanksgiving weekend for retailers, according to Morgan Stanley analysts.
“Stores that opened on Thanksgiving Day saw a surge in traffic on the holiday but appeared to slow early morning Black Friday,” analysts wrote in a recent note. “We are not convinced strong Thursday sales made up for softer Friday traffic.”
According to ShopperTrak, Black Friday traffic declined 11.4% and sales decreased 13.2% compared to last year. Foot traffic for both Thanksgiving and Black Friday rose 2.8% to more than 1.07 billion store visits, while sales over both days rose 2.3% to $US12.3 billion compared to last year.
A few retailers, including Macy’s and Kohl’s, opened on Thanksgiving for the first time this year. Others, including Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target, opened earlier than ever on the holiday.
The retailers all said their earlier openings were a response to customer demands.
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