With a slight drop in sales compared to retailers of all sizes, small businesses might be hoping to see some strong returns from Small Business Saturday.
American Express said it established the small business recognition day in 2010. The numbers are still coming in on how Nov. 24 fared but the card services company said in 2011, more than 100 million Americans participated in the event.
According to Sageworks, a Raleigh, N.C.-based financial research company, small businesses could use a boost from Small Business Saturday.
Retailers with annual sales of below $1 million have posted a nearly 3% drop in sales year to date, compared with a nearly 6% increase for retailers of all sizes in Sageworks’ database and a roughly 11% increase in sales for retailers with annual sales of more than $10 million, Sageworks said.
American Express cited a Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey released on Nov. 19 that said 67% of respondents planned to shop small on last Saturday.
The top five places that consumers planned to support were restaurants (52%), bakeries (35%), clothing stores (34%), gift shops (31%) and book shops (29%), according to American Express.
Of those consumers who shopped last year on Small Business Saturday, 70% of respondents said they planned to spend more or the same amount this year and will spend on average $100 on this year’s retail recognition day, the company said.
Meanwhile, Black Friday proved to be a shopping bonanza, according to a National Retail Federation survey from research firm BIGinsight. Nearly 250 million shoppers spent more than $1 billion in online sales the day after Thanksgiving, which was up 26% from 816 million in 2011. Total spending over the four-day weekend totaled $59.1 billion, up 12.8% from last year.
On average, shoppers spent $423 over the weekend, which was up $398 from last year, according to the NRF survey.
Some industry experts are predicting today’s Cyber Monday could continue to boost online sales well into the first part of 2013.