The first blush was generally positive, but there are lots of caveats. The sales boost that retailers expected over the Thanksgiving weekend took place, but it was not as robust as it was last year. There was some evidence that it began to fizzle before the weekend even ended.
Right now, there are mixed reviews when it comes to the front-loading of the weekend. It appears that people did as they always do—they gobbled up the bargains and the sales. However, this time the powers that be launched these sales early; so people took advantage early. The next three weeks usually represents a lull before the last-minute shoppers, generally the men, give a late boost to the season.
The overall sense is that Black Friday was about what was expected: no sense of a big breakthrough year but no sense of a 2009‐like withdrawal either. People are spending about what they spent last year, and that is neither good nor bad news. The hope that retail would surge enough to push the economy all by itself seems a faint hope at this point, but at least there is no sign of a retreat either. That passes for good news these days.
-Armada Corporate Intelligence