Holiday Central

Black Friday no bounty as deals, online shopping cause sales to fall

The Associated Press, with
Black Friday: 'National productivity day?'
Black Friday: 'National productivity day?'

The Black Friday shopping weekend may be losing its mojo.

A survey of shoppers released Sunday by the National Retail Federation shows how early discounting, more online shopping and an improving economy have fewer people shopping on the weekend that kicks off the holiday shopping season.

Overall, 133.7 million people shopped at stores and online over the four-day holiday weekend, down 5.2 percent from last year, according to a survey of 4,631 consumers by the trade group.

Read MoreDeals grab shoppers, but too early to call victory

A Black Friday sign outside an H&M store in New York.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Total spending for the weekend is expected to fall 11 percent to $50.9 billion from an estimated $57.4 billion last year.

Shoppers, on average, are expected to spend $380.95 over the four days, down 6.4 percent from $407.02 last year.

Shoppers managed to take advantage of early sales, which many retailers began offering well in advance of Black Friday.

The shifting of deals and promotions pushed up store traffic on Thanksgiving Day by 27.3 percent, noted retail analytics firm ShopperTrak, but dampened Black Friday visits by 5.6 percent. A separate report showed that online sales surged year over year, suggesting consumers may have shifted their purchases to the Internet.

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