TODAY | November 24, 2012
>>> we want to turn now to the black friday shopping rush. crowds turning out, looking for their bargains. did it all live up to the hype? michelle franzen is just outside the macy's store. good morning.
>> reporter: it's a little quiet here this morning, but we've made it through that initial wave of black friday that actually began early on thanksgiving this year. so how did we fare? retail analysts say the number of shoppers didn't necessarily go up, but you see that rush of shoppers going into those doors, just spread out a little earlier over that thanksgiving and black friday morning. now, in georgia, at one walmart store, there was a mad rush and crush of people grabbing for prepaid cell phones out of cases that were just opened. but for the most part, it was very orderly. people were out there in force looking for those hot door buster items, from electronics and flat screen tvs to deep discounts on clothing. overall, retail analysts say they're expecting that a drop in shoppers this weekend, that's from thursday to sunday, but overall, with shoppers having nearly five weeks to shop, they're hoping that sales will increase just over 4%. that's the estimate. and shoppers will spend nearly $600 billion. so people will be out in force again today on this saturday, looking for whole new round of sales.
>> michelle franzen , thank you.
>>> how did this black friday add up? kayla, good morning.
>> good morning, erica.
>> we had an overview there from michelle. in terms of the discounts, did these live up to expectations?
>> customers will always say they didn't, because if you weren't there at the crack of dawn, you likely missed out on the heavily discounted big ticket items. but that being said, there were supposed to be more deals. 20,000 deals advertised versus 17,000 last year. but they were roughly in line. experts say they were 25% to 60% off on average with the televisions and apparel getting the heaviest discounts.
>> what about how this is going to add up for retail? final numbers probably will come on monday. but this is black friday because it tends to push them into profit for the year with retailers. is this going to happen with the numbers?
>> it's always the hope. they're waiting for cyber monday. foot traffic was up slightly. if you look at places like the mall of america , or macy's in herald square , you're seeing about a 30% increase in foot traffic. the problem is people were on average expecting to spend less money. american express said the average shopper who was out on black friday spent $398, which is a lot of money. but it's a 25% drop from last year. so it's likely that even though there were more people, they probably spent less.
>> there were also more hours in which to spend your money. i feel like next year it's going to start on monday. but it was a little bit of backlash. walmart and walmart employees striking, protesting here. did it have an impact on sales for some of those stores? did people stay away ?
>> interestingly, walmart is one of the only retailers that we've heard from so far as far as the success of black friday. the retailer came out and said this was our best ever, actually. between 8:00 p.m . and midnight on thursday, which is when the backlash started. of course, the employees did not want to work during that time. walmart said the bulk of the protesters were not store associates and they actually sold 5,000 items per second.
>> it's almost like campaign ads. we hear they work and they're not going away. despite the complaints, it's sort of like we're going to keep opening earlier because it works. what about what we have coming up monday? cyber monday has become such a big thing. anything to look forward to?
>> i think everyone shops every day online now. that's the problem with cyber monday. it used to be this heavily advertised event. but because of thanksgiving, that's the day that everyone is sitting around at home and with the time to shop, you have a glass of wine, you grab your ipad and before you know it, you're onshopping.
>> a lot of mobile shopping now. mobile shopping up 65%. it's not just you and me grabbing our ipads.