Saturday sales substantial; online outweighed in-store for Black Friday

Shoppers made Small Business Saturday a success.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses reported Monday that Small Business Saturday “saw record levels of support from communities and local organizations,” with a total of 95 million consumers “marking an 8 percent increase from 2014.”

Consumers spent more than $16 billion on Saturday this year, up 14 percent from the $14.3 billion spent last year, the Federation stated.

“Americans are returning to Main Street for the things they need, and ultimately that’s a very healthy economic trend,” said Dan Danner, NFIB president and CEO.

Meanwhile, online shoppers outnumbered their brick-and- mortar counterparts during U.S. retailers’ pivotal Black Friday weekend.

More than 103 million people shopped online over the four-day weekend, which started Thursday on Thanksgiving and continued with Black Friday, according to an annual survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation. That compares with fewer than 102 million who ventured into traditional stores, the trade group said.

ShopperTrak, another researcher, said that brick-and-mortar retailers’ sales decreased versus last year. They brought in $12.1 billion during Thanksgiving and Black Friday, the firm said.

The NRF didn’t provide a total spending amount, something it included in past surveys. That figure had been down for two straight years, dropping 11 percent to $50.9 billion in 2014.

Online spending for Cyber Monday was on pace for a slower increase than during the holiday weekend as consumers started their Internet shopping earlier, according to International Business Machines Corp.

Web-based sales increased 18 percent Monday from a year earlier as of 3 p.m. in New York, after jumping 26 percent on Saturday and Sunday, IBM said in a report. Over the same weekend in 2014 online sales grew 17 percent and were up 8.5 percent on Monday that year.

Bloomberg News, C.R. Roberts, staff writer