US retail sales on Black Friday, the post Thanksgiving shopping day in the States, were marginally ahead of 2008, but shoppers were out looking for bargains and did not spend on full price goods or luxury items.
Some 195 million shoppers visited stores and went online, up from 172 million in 2008, but the average spend, at $343.31 (£207.10p) per person for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, was substantially down from last year’s $372.57 (£226.11p), indicating a desire for discounted and cut-price stock, according to analysts.
Total spend over the weekend was 0.5% higher than last year, at $41.2 billion (£25bn).
Markdown levels, at around 40%, were less swinging than the 60% and 70% numbers in 2008, according to reports, but still proved sufficient to attract shoppers to reach for their wallets.
Low-price deals were also being snapped up online, as e-commerce growth continued to outpace the action in the stores.
Hardest hit by price-conscious shoppers were the luxury retailers, which failed to capitalise on the increased footfall, according to industry observers.