Shoppers were out in force during the week of Black Friday, but price cuts brought in less revenue than last year's recession-mired sales, according to a new report.
Retail analyst firm the NPD Group on Wednesday released its yearly accounting of technology sales during the week of Black Friday. More than $2.7 billion was spent on TVs, PCs, video game consoles, cameras, and more in the first burst of holiday shopping, but it represented a 1.2 percent decline compared to the same period a year ago. Still, it's better than the previous year's 3.4 percent decline.
Retailers will have to blame their discounting practices, since actual unit sales were way up in many categories: PC sales volume increased 63 percent, Blu-ray players were up 53 percent, and GPS units increased by 15 percent.
The battle over holiday pricing started even earlier than usual this year, withtargeting the iPod, Nintendo Wii, HDTVs, and Netbooks with steep discounts, and in some cases, drastically lowered shipping charges.
But while retailers so far appear to be having a ho-hum season revenue-wise, there's still several weeks to go before the end of the quarter. And the biggest sellers, like Wal-Mart and Amazon, say that while Black Friday and Cyber Monday are important to their bottom line, their biggest sales days typically come mid-December.