According to National Retail Federation (NRF):
In 2010 actual Black Friday spending was $719 versus forecast of $688.
For 2011 forecast is $704 and it is important to see the actual Black Friday spending this year versus the forecast, in order to evaluate the current state of economy.
Black Friday 2011 is the day after Thanksgiving, November 25 2011.
It officially kicks off the holiday shopping season, as 195 million shoppers usually hit stores during the Black Friday weekend.
Nearly 20% of retail sales occur between Black Friday through Christmas. For some retailers, such as jewelers, it can be as high as 40%.
For 2011, the NRF said that shoppers usually spend about half of their total holiday gift shopping on Black Friday. The NRF forecast that shoppers are more optimistic in 2011 than they were last year. Holiday sales will be up 2.8% to $465.6 billion. This is higher than the 2.6% increase experienced in the last ten years, but lower than the norm (3.4% annual increase) for the decade before the 2008 financial crisis. It's unlikely growth will return to those levels anytime soon, since most of this spending was fueled with credit card debt. This debt has been declining in the last three years.
On average, each shoppers said they expect to spend $704 in 2011. However, it's possible they could spend more than their expectations, because that's just what happened during Black Friday 2010. They said they would spend $688 each, but they actually spent $719 each. Shoppers will spend less than the all-time high of $755 per person set in 2007. It's much better than the recessionary low of $682 per shopper set in 2009.