Tracking Black Friday Spending

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Black Friday, it’s the Christmas of shopping; but has it lost some of its door-busting luster?

There’s been a growing trend that financial analysts have noticed.

“I think Black Friday was kind of a midnight to six a.m. event, and there were a lot of people that went out especially for those deals that you got when the doors open at special times” said Shazam Spokesman Patrick Dix.

Shazam is a financial service for banks that tracks how much debit card users spend, and when they spend it.

“I think what we’re seeing this year, as we saw last year was that, sort of, graying of Black Friday; which kinda means that it went into the morning, and into the afternoon, and I think we’re going to see transactions steadily rise through the day” said Dix.

From midnight to six a.m., Shazam tracked 130,000 transactions.  From six a.m. to noon, there were over a million.

It appears that bigger buys came earlier in the day, with the average spending per purchase just over $34 dollars, compared to $25 dollars per purchase as the day went on.

Dix says the volume of shoppers skipping the early morning shopping can be attributed, in part, to the internet and events like cyber Monday.

“You can get a lot of these deals online. E-commerce is continually ramping up overall as just a trend in how we buy things. Those deals and the variety of deals that you can get online is just as attractive to a lot of people as the ones you used to get standing out in the cold at midnight on Black Friday” said Dix.

The idea of lower foot traffic is something that is a little concerning for Jaytee’s Apparel co-owner Josh Ansah. He opened a new shoe and clothing boutique in Valley Junction which isn’t online yet.

“That’s something that we’ve been talking about as far as getting our website set up, getting all of our products onto the website, and that’s something that we’re projecting for next year” he said.

Josh and his wife own the store which specializes in hard to find items like retro Air Jordans.  He says not being online makes Black Friday, and especially small business Saturday, even more important.

“It kinda helps us to, for lack of a better term, get into the black. New businesses…it’s tough. It’s tough getting your name out there, it’s tough getting brand recognition. Black Friday is usually when most people do a lot of their Christmas shopping and holiday shopping” said Ansah.

Despite there being less people out early in the day, Shazam projects we will spend more this year on Black Friday than last year.