The numbers are in, and Black Friday was a booming success. Again.
Here are some of the key statistics – courtesy of the National Retail Federation – from yet another record-breaking start to the holiday shopping season:
- $59 billion was spent over the four-day weekend, from Thanksgiving to Sunday – a 13% improvement over last year.
- Online sales reached $1 billion for the first time in history – and that was before today’s traditional Internet shopping holiday, Cyber Monday.
- Between stores and websites, there were 249 million shoppers over the weekend – up 9.2% from last year.
- The average holiday shopper spent $423 over the weekend, up from $398 in 2011.
All of that is good news for a struggling economy on the brink of a “fiscal cliff”. Black Friday was particularly good to the companies that were able to reach shoppers both online and in brick and mortar stores.
Here are three companies that did it best. All ranked among the most visited web sites over the Black Friday weekend. Not coincidentally, all three have seen their stocks rise sharply since Friday morning:
- Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN): Amazon is the one company on this list that doesn’t have its own brick and mortar presence. But because the online retailer was the weekend’s most visited site, it basically didn’t matter. Shares of Amazon have climbed nearly 2% since Friday morning to reach their highest level in a month.
- Best Buy (NYSE: BBY): This struggling big-box retailer isn’t dead yet, as evidenced by its thriving online sales on Black Friday. Best Buy’s big weekend pushed shares of its beaten-down stock up 5% today.
- Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL): Don’t look now, but shares of the world’s largest company are making a huge comeback. After falling nearly $200 in two months, the stock has bounced back with authority over the last 10 days – boosted by its 5% gains since Friday’s market open. Purchases of mobile devices – a space Apple dominates – accounted for 16% of all online transactions, resulting in a monster weekend for Apple.