Monday, November 28, 2005

Black Friday Shopping

The numbers for this weekend are in (I should know I spent all weekend writing them up.)

Sales figures are down or up depending on who you talk to, the NRF is posting a gain in sales of 22% this year based on national survey data. (4,000 responders or so)

ShopperTrak is showing a 0.5% decline in sales for the total weekend based on traffic and other econometric data. They also reported a 1.4% decline in national retail traffic. This is based on counts of traffic and other econometric data. (full disclosure, I work there)

The NRF numbers are very optimistic, so far however the numbers in their release don't add up. There must be some interesting factoid I am not privy to to make these numbers work. (thanks to my boss for some of this analysis and the press release which I can't find a link to online)

Their press release says we should have seen 145 million shoppers over the weekend, but their numbers don't add up.

60 million on Friday (estimated)
52.8 million on Saturday (estimated)
22 million on Sunday (same as in '04)
Total = 134.8 million.
That is a difference of 10.2 million shoppers (145 million - 134.8 million).

And then their sales figure is 27.1 Billion dollars, and they are saying on average that consumers spent 302.81. But if 134.8 million people spent 302.81 dollars that would put us at 40.8 billion dollars. Which is a big difference. Their is clearly some other factor they look at when calculating spending, I wonder what it is.

Also they seem very high and it is likely that consumers overstated their purchases in the survey. Surveys as I may have mentioned before, are not the best measuring tools available. (Uhh they suck)

It will be interesting to see how the numbers are revised over the week.


Anonymous said...

what's funny is that while we live in this statistic laden universe, and I knew people got degrees in statistics, it never really occurred to me to picture the day work of people actually compiling these statistics live.

btw, your report is interesting just because on Friday itself the press more or less announced it was way bigger than last year... but no.


Shinobi said...

It involves a lot of microsoft excel and intense computer work. Big fun.

More proof that Anecdotal evidence is no good.