Black Friday Sales Numbers Expected to be Strong

Nov 25, 2011, 07:31 by R.E. Christian

A record number of shoppers could turn out for Black Friday weekend, U.S. retail sales analysts said.

The National Retail Federation estimates 152 million people will shop during the weekend, an increase of 10 percent over last year. However, that might prove to be an underestimation, NRF spokeswoman Kathy Gannis told CNN -- noting that 212 million people shopped last year when the trade organization had anticipated 138 million shoppers for the opening weekend of the Christmas shopping season.

Although some consumer advocates suggested there could be a backlash against plans by a growing number of major retailers to open at midnight Thursday night, Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail, a consulting firm based in New York, said the trend gives consumers 6 more hours to shop and "will also attract people who may be willing to go out Thursday night, but aren't about to get up early Friday morning."

On the Web site, some elements of the Occupy Wall Street movement urge consumers to boycott major retailers "to send an economic message to big business and banks that profits over consumers is not good business," CNN said.

Britt Beemer, a retail analyst and chairman of America's Research Group, said he doesn't think that will have any impact on Christmas spending "unless protesters happen to be blocking the entrance of a store."

Retailers are offering more Black Friday deals online ahead of what has become known as Cyber Monday -- which consumers have turned into an online shopping bonanza. Brad Olson, founder of, told CNN some retailers are offering Black Friday sale items for the same price online shoppers will see Monday.

Source: UPI