Retailers see decrease in sales after ThanksgivingAfter the hectic sales and promotional events that occurred over the Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday, retailers are noticing a lull in sales. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs Retail Chain Store Sales Index, sales fell 3.1 percent the week after Black Friday.

A big weekend
Data from the National Retail Federation revealed that the Thanksgiving weekend was a huge success for merchants across the country. Data from the recent survey showed that more than 35 million consumers took part in Thanksgiving shopping this year, and another 89 million shopped on Black Friday, a record number. Consumers spent an average of $423 over the long weekend, more than the average total last year.

However, it wasn't just in-store shoppers that contributed to the large amount of sales seen over Thanksgiving weekend. Consumers also took advantage of online sales, which amounted to 40.7 percent of the total shopping seen over the weekend. Many retailers use online sales to their advantage, as they can lead to cost savings with fewer employees working in-store and limited overhead expenses.

The lull in sales
After Thanksgiving weekend, shoppers typically cut back, according to USA Today. Despite diminishing purchases, sales are reportedly still up from December of last year. Sales may have dropped the week after the holiday, but they are expected to bounce back as Christmas approaches and consumers finish up their shopping.

Many people may be completing their gift purchases later in the season. The American Express Saving and Spending Tracker released data that revealed 68 percent of consumers have started their holiday shopping, meaning quite a few have not yet begun to make their purchases. Only 14 percent of those surveyed have finished their shopping, indicating that there are plenty of purchases still to be made.

Those retailers expecting a big increase in sales as Christmas draws nearer may be considering implementing new procurement policies and strategic sourcing initiatives to ensure their supply chains are running smoothly enough to handle more purchases at the end of the month, despite the drop seen at the beginning of December.

"I don't think it's an anomaly that you see this drop," said Shaun Abraham, director of strategic initiatives for Chase Paymentech, according to USA Today. "You'll see this uptake happen as we get closer to next week and the Christmas holiday."
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