Report: Black Friday performance not barometer for season

Solihull, England -- Visitor analytics provider Experian FootFall said Thursday that Black Friday’s retail performance isn’t necessarily an indication of how the holiday season will fare.

According to FootFall, the 2011 calendar shift could impact consumer behavior this season, potentially transferring the large majority of shopping trips and consumer spending to later in the season.  Because Christmas falls on a Sunday, historical performance suggests the week leading up to the holiday will be crucial for retailers, containing several of the top spending days this holiday shopping season. 

“The 2011 calendar shift will most likely place added emphasis on the days leading into Christmas as procrastinating shoppers could spend heavily on the Thursday and Friday leading into Christmas weekend,” said Gary Whittemore, global development director of Experian FootFall. “Although Black Friday is still very important and will once again be one of the top performing days, in reality many retailers will have the opportunity to recover from a slower start by reviewing historical performance and effectively preparing stores to capitalize on this late season rush.”

The company predicts that three of the top performing days of the holiday shopping season could fall in the seven day period from Dec. 17 – 24, including Dec. 17 (Saturday), Dec. 22 (Thursday) and Dec. 23 (Friday).