Monday, November 27, 2006

Retail Holiday Season Kick-Off: Electronics Category Has Biggest Sale Gains

Holiday Sales Get Off to Solid Start, But Wal-Mart Doesn't Share Cheer
By AMY MERRICK and KRIS HUDSON, November 27, 2006; Page A1, The Wall Street Journal
Shoppers started early and splurged on flat-panel TV sets and computers over the long weekend, driving strong electronics sales in what was generally viewed as a solid start to the holiday season. But despite aggressive discounting throughout November and on Black Friday, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported its weakest monthly sales in more than 10 years, raising doubts about whether the Christmas cheer will be widely shared.
ShopperTrak RCT Corp. estimated that Friday sales nationwide increased 6% from the previous year, reaching $8.96 billion. "This data show an even larger increase than expected," said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak's co-founder. The research firm compiles its estimate from sales statistics and data gathered from 45,000 electronic counting devices in enclosed malls and strip shopping centers....

...The biggest sales gains Friday were in electronics. In dollar terms, the average purchase was nearly 9% higher than a year ago, said Wayne Best, senior vice president of business and economic analysis for Visa USA, which tracks purchases made with its credit cards -- roughly $17 out of every $100 spent in the U.S. Increasingly, the nation's shoppers view Black Friday as a time to buy big-ticket items for themselves, often at deep discounts, Mr. Best said...read more: here

11/27/2006 08:32:00 AM

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