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Black Friday Weekend Traffic up 4.8 Percent as Consumers Shop for Smaller Ticket Items

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Kathy Grannis (202) 821-7513 or Scott Krugman (202) 299-6721
Email: grannisk@nrf.com or krugmans@nrf.com

Black Friday Weekend Traffic up 4.8 Percent as Consumers
 Shop for Smaller Ticket Items
--More Shoppers Helps Make Up for Lower Consumer Expenditures--

Washington, November 25, 2007 - If there were any doubts that consumers would be shopping in full force over Black Friday, they have finally been put to rest. According to the National Retail Federation's 2007 Black Friday Weekend Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, more than 147 million shoppers hit the stores on Black Friday weekend, up a solid 4.8 percent from last year.

Consumers spent an average of $347.44*, down 3.5 percent from last year, but still up an incredibly strong 14.8 percent from 2005. Retailers made up for the lower average expenditure with increased traffic.

"While last year showed a greater emphasis on high-definition televisions, this year consumers were focused on lower priced doorbusters like digital photo frames, laptops and cashmere sweaters," said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. "Though Black Friday weekend was a complete success for many retailers, the results of the holiday season won't be determined until the last two weeks of December."

Black Friday was marked with retailers opening their doors earlier than ever, with some choosing to start their sales as early as midnight. This strategy appeared to pay off as 14.3 percent of consumers were out shopping before 4:00 AM, compared to 12.4 percent last year.

Men once again proved to be the better Black Friday customer. With a greater emphasis on door-buster specials in the consumer electronics category, men outspent women $393.63 to $303.95.

"Knowing that consumers would be challenged by the current economic environment, retailers hoped that higher traffic would offset lower individual spending, which it did," said Phil Rist, Vice President of Strategy for BIGresearch. "With consumers expecting retailers to be more promotional on Cyber Monday, the holiday season is off to a good start."

Though discounters saw a dip in traffic last year, they rebounded nicely this year as 55.1 percent of shoppers visited discount stores, up from 49.6 percent in 2006. Consumers also shopped in traditional department stores (38.7%), specialty retailers (43.2%) and online (31.6%).

The most popular items purchased were clothing or clothing accessories (46.8%) as well as books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games (41.7%). Other purchases this weekend included consumer electronics (35.7%), toys (28.2%), and gift cards (21.0%).

As of Sunday, November 26, the average person has completed 36.4 percent of their holiday shopping, showing virtually no change from last year. Only one in 12 consumers (8.2%) has finished their holiday shopping.

NRF continues to project that holiday sales will rise 4.0 percent this year to $474.5 billion.
 
About the Survey
 
The NRF 2007 Black Friday Weekend Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the winter holidays. NRF defines the weekend as sales from Thursday, November 23 to Sunday, November 26. The survey, which polled 2,395 consumers, was conducted for NRF by BIGresearch from November 22-24, 2007. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.5 percent.

BIGresearch is a consumer market intelligence firm that provides unique consumer insights that are gathered online utilizing very large sample sizes. BIGresearch's syndicated Consumer Intentions and Actions survey monitors the pulse of more than 7,000 consumers each month to empower its clients with unique insights for identifying opportunities in a fragmented and changing marketplace

The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants, drug stores and grocery stores as well as the industry's key trading partners of retail goods and services. NRF represents an industry with more than 1.6 million U.S. retail establishments, more than 24 million employees - about one in five American workers - and 2006 sales of $4.7 trillion. As the industry umbrella group, NRF also represents more than 100 state, national and international retail associations. www.nrf.com

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*Spending data includes Thursday, Friday, Saturday and projected spending for Sunday.