First Data released its analysis of consumer spending for Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Unlike other reports, First Data's analysis is based on actual consumer transactions rather than surveys or speculation. Topline Facts:
Overall, Retail Spending growth was up 9 percent year-over-year (YOY), which represents solid growth on top of strong growth from the prior year (9.4 percent in 2015 and 3.5 percent in 2014). The total share of eCommerce spending has increased significantly, nearly doubling over a four-year period YOY: 15.7 percent YOY (2014), 18.3 percent (2015), and 24.7 percent YOY (2016). Meanwhile, several malls and retail chains were closed on Thanksgiving morning and afternoon, most opening their doors until evening. Retail sales growth took a hit, but across the nation, consumers jumped in at 6 p.m. and sales recovered. In terms of overall spend (not just retail), the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is becoming just as strong as Black Friday.