Black Friday sees $45 billion and QVC makes history

Perhaps the recession really is over. BIGresearch conducted surveys on shopping over the Black Friday weekend which revealed that American shoppers spent $45 billion at retailers and online. The average spending per shopper was $365.34, $22 more per person than last year.

Not only did they spend more, but more came out. The number of shoppers rose from the previous year's 195 million to 212 million shoppers during this year's holiday weekend.

“As retailers look ahead to the first few weeks of December, it will be important for them to keep momentum going with savings and incentives that holiday shoppers simply can’t pass up,” said Matthew Shay, National Retail Federation president and chief executive in a statement.

Although Black Friday isn't always an indicator of holiday shopping, Shay said, it's important to pay attention to what shoppers are looking for.

Many department stores, such as Macy's, opened their doors at 4 a.m. this year. Others even opened at midnight. It seemed that this is exactly what patrons were asking for because the number of shoppers that turned out at midnight tripled from 3.3 percent to 9.5 percent. The survey also indicated that almost a quarter of Black Friday shoppers were in the stores by 4 a.m.

“It was the consumers’ search for deals and bargains that drove the weekend traffic rather than their confidence in the economy,” said Phil Rist, EVP of BIGresearch, in a press release.

Black Friday shopping isn't officially over until today, which is Cyber Monday. Instead of standing in long lines, many opted to add things to a virtual shopping cart. BIGresearch reported that online shopping rose as well, from 28.5 percent in 2009 to 33.6 percent this year.

Speaking of Black Friday success, QVC made company history on Friday, boasting the most sales ever on the day after Thanksgiving. The retailer, which features its products on TV and online, raked in more than $42 million.

“Our customer response can only mean that we exceeded their expectations and delivered on our promise to provide all of the joy, none of the craziness,” said Claire Watts, QVC's president of U.S. Commerce, in a statement.

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