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Shoppers deliver strong Black Friday weekend for retailers

Holiday Sales Watch – Report 1

Shoppers sprinted from the Thanksgiving dinner table to snatch up early bargains and continued buying throughout the weekend to deliver a solid start to the holiday season for New York state’s retailers. Seventy-four percent of merchants surveyed by the Retail Council of New York State early this week said their sales for Black Friday weekend were better than or the same as their sales for the same period of time in 2011.

“Extended shopping hours and the presence of mobile devices seems to have enhanced in-store sales for many retailers,” said Retail Council President and Chief Executive Officer James R. Sherin.

As usual, electronics – especially smartphones, tablets and televisions – were hot sellers. Other holiday wares like gift cards, seasonal clothing, jewelry and other accessories, and toys were also popular. Some merchants noted continued price sensitivity among shoppers although others observed personal purchases in addition to gifts.

“Despite the devastation of Hurricane Sandy downstate and lingering economic uncertainties, New Yorkers were shopping and buying at a very encouraging pace this weekend,” said Sherin.

Retailers throughout the state reported on their Black Friday weekend sales through the Retail Council of New York State’s annual “Holiday Sales Watch,” a periodic snapshot of sales activity in stores small and large between late November and early January.

“Now the waiting game begins to see if the season will end as strongly as it began. We’ll be monitoring the “fiscal cliff” debate, unemployment figures, gas and home heating costs and other factors as they all play a role in consumer confidence as the holiday season progresses,” said Sherin. “And, of course, retailers are always concerned about bad weather taking a toll on sales.”

When asked about the effects of Hurricane Sandy on their businesses, one in five survey participants outside the heavily damaged areas on Long Island and Staten Island noted inventory shipping delays. Most of these delays were minor, however, and have been rectified.

The Retail Council’s next Holiday Sales Watch will gauge mid-season sales activity. The results of this survey will be released Dec. 12, 2012.

Hot Sellers for Kids - 2012 Holiday Season

For Girls:       Barbie, Dolls (generic), Furby, Monster High Dolls, Disney Princess, American Girl, Video Games, Dora the Explorer, Apple iPad

For Boys:        LEGO, Video Games, Hot Wheels, Cars (generic), Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, Transformers, Remote Controlled Vehicles, Furby, Trucks (generic)

About the Retail Council of New York State:

The “Voice of Retailing” in New York state, the Retail Council represents thousands of member stores of all sort and size. The Retail Council offers money-saving group benefit programs and government relations expertise to its members. For more information, please visit or