The 2010 holiday retail season has been celebrated as a smashing success for the retail sector.
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Holiday shoppers turned out in droves, giving retail a much-needed boost after consecutive years of declining holiday sales figures.
But before you base 2011 plans on 2010 holiday figures, you need to go beyond the hype and take a closer look at actual 2010 retail holiday shopping statistics. Although the numbers were generally encouraging, the holiday season also generated some sales stats that may be a concern for 2011 and beyond.
- Black Friday sales. Retail shoppers spent $10.69 billion on Black Friday 2010. Black Friday weekend sales were $45 billion, up from $41.2 billion in 2009. For many retailers, this signaled a healthy start to the 2010 holiday shopping season.
- Cyber Monday sales. At $1.028 billion, Cyber Monday 2010 entered the history books as the first day online sales exceeded the $1 billion threshold. Translation: Online retailing isn't the future – it is a present reality for growth-conscious retailers.
- Same store sales. Same-store sales were a mixed bag this season. While many retailers reported respectable same-store gains, brands like Target, Aeropostale, Gap, Best Buy, and Old Navy reported anemic sales or even same-store sale losses. Although these numbers weren't reflected in overall retail sales figures, they could indicate weaknesses in the business models of specific brands.
- Total online sales. Total online holiday sales came in at $36.4 billion, a 15.4% increase over 2009 numbers. During the holiday shopping season, there were six days when sales exceeded the $1 billion threshold – a statistic that didn't go unnoticed by retailers.
- Mobile device sales. According to surveys, 52% of smartphone users intended to use their devices for price comparisons during the shopping season and 40% intended to use their device to read product reviews. With 4% of all Cyber Monday shoppers using their devices to make purchases on that day, mobile devices will play a major role in retail in the coming year.
- Day after Christmas sales. A staggering 43% of consumers planned to make a purchase on December 26th. This could consumers' willingness to part with their cash – but only to the extent that they perceive the kinds of values that appear in post-Christmas discounting.