Total spending fell 11 percent over the Thanksgiving weekend than last year, as in-store sales were diluted by online promotions and early deals. Bobbi Rebell reports.
More hours did not translate into more sales during the kickoff weekend to the holiday retail season. The National Retail Federation says sales over the full Thanksgiving weekend will show a decline of 11.3 percent from a year earlier, to about $51 billion. And the key player in all this, the consumer, actually spent about 6.4 percent less than they did a year ago - an average of about $380 dollars. Some speculated that spreading the sales event over a longer period of time with extended shopping hours may have diluted the weekend sales effort. Many, like Macy's, opened up even earlier on Thanksgiving this year. I asked Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren about that decision and expanding the hours of Black Friday deals: SOUNDBITE: TERRY LUNDGREN, CEO, MACY'S (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think customers are choosing the times that they want to shop and then we have to be responsive to that. I think that's what retailers like Macy's are doing. " Lungren also talked to me about how important online and mobile in particular are to Macy's. They are not alone. ComScore said U.S. online sales rose 32 percent on Thanksgiving, and 26 percent on Black Friday, driven by strong deals. The National Retail Federation is sticking with its sales forecast for a rise of 4.1 percent this holiday season.