Men outspend women as retailers experience lucrative Black Friday

Retailers kicked off the holiday selling season in style as shoppers across the country set their alarms for the wee hours of the morning to catch doorbuster specials. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2006 Black Friday Weekend Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, more than 140 million shoppers hit the stores on Black Friday weekend, spending an average of $360.15, up 18.9 percent from last year’s $302.81.*
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Washington, DC, -- Retailers kicked off the holiday selling season in style as shoppers across the country set their alarms for the wee hours of the morning to catch doorbuster specials. According to the National Retail Federation's 2006 Black Friday Weekend Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, more than 140 million shoppers hit the stores on Black Friday weekend, spending an average of $360.15, up 18.9 percent from last year's $302.81.*

“Each year, consumers have greater expectations for doorbuster specials, forcing retailers to raise the bar,” said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. “This year, stores did not disappoint as deals on high definition televisions and apparel were just too good to pass up, bringing millions of people out of their Thanksgiving cocoons.”

Retail stores opened earlier than ever on Black Friday and shoppers responded. According to the survey, one-third of Black Friday shoppers (36.2%) got to their first shopping destination before sunrise (6 a.m.). By 9 a.m., more than half of shoppers (58.8%) said they had already visited one store. Men were more likely to wait in line than women, as 17.3 percent of men said they got to their first store by 4 a.m., compared to just 8.0 percent of women who arrived by that time.

If the promotions of televisions, DVD players and video game systems were meant to get men to join in on the Black Friday festivities, it clearly worked. Though more women went shopping than men (47.9% vs. 37.4%), men undoubtedly outspent their counterparts. According to the survey, men who hit the stores this weekend outspent women by 38.1 percent, with men spending $420.37 on average and women spending $304.30. Over the weekend, more than one-third (39.5%) of men bought consumer electronics or computer-related accessories compared to one-fourth (27.5%) of women. Half of the men surveyed (49.2%) purchased books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games compared to only 34.1 of women who purchased the same products.

“Retailers learned this weekend that men are willing to get out of bed for a good deal,” said Phil Rist, Vice President of Strategy for BIGresearch. “While women seemed to take a more casual approach to Black Friday shopping, men went out on the hunt and then went back home to bed.”

Though discounters were still the most popular shopping destination, traffic dropped substantially from last year (49.6% vs. 60.7% in 2005). Traditional department stores were also a popular destination (38.8%) as well as specialty retailers like clothing and toy stores (37.5%). One-fourth of consumers (23.0%) also took advantage of some retailers' web-only specials this weekend.

The most popular items purchased were clothing or clothing accessories (41.4%) as well as books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games (41.4%). Also on many Christmas lists were consumer electronics or computer-related accessories (33.3%) as well as toys (28.3%), gift cards/gift certificates (17.6%) and home décor or home-related furnishings (17.4%).

As of Sunday, November 26, the average person has completed 35.6 percent of their holiday shopping, showing no change from last year. Only one in 12 consumers (8.6%) has finished their holiday shopping.

NRF continues to project that holiday sales will rise 5.0 percent this year to $457.4 billion.

About the Survey
The NRF 2006 Black Friday Weekend Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the winter holidays. NRF defines the weekend as sales from Thursday, November 23 to Sunday, November 26. The survey, which polled 3,090 consumers, was conducted for NRF by BIGresearch from November 23-25, 2006. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.5 percent.

BIGresearch is a consumer market intelligence firm that provides unique consumer insights that are gathered online utilizing very large sample sizes. BIGresearch's syndicated Consumer Intentions and Actions survey monitors the pulse of more than 7,000 consumers each month to empower its clients with unique insights for identifying opportunities in a fragmented and changing marketplace

The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants, drug stores and grocery stores as well as the industry's key trading partners of retail goods and services. NRF represents an industry with more than 1.6 million U.S. retail establishments, more than 24 million employees - about one in five American workers - and 2005 sales of $4.4 trillion. As the industry umbrella group, NRF also represents more than 100 state, national and international retail associations. www.nrf.com.

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*Spending data includes Thursday, Friday, Saturday and projected spending for Sunday.

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