With more stores opening on Thanksgiving, sales were pulled forward from Black Friday, said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak’s founder. Sales on Black Friday fell 13.2% from last year, with foot traffic down 11.4%. Foot traffic for the combined Thanksgiving-Black Friday period rose 2.8% to more than 1.07 billion store visits, ShopperTrak said.
“The consumers really responded to Thursday’s openings, actually more than anybody anticipated,” Martin said.
Jennifer Doval had an easier time getting to the stores for her Black Friday shopping this year at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.
“It’s just quiet. I don’t know if it’s because it was open yesterday,” Doval, 42, from nearby Edina, said Friday while shopping for clothes for her 12-year-old daughter and presents for her parents. She arrived at 7 a.m. and was “shocked how empty the parking ramps were.”