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NRF CEO accentuates positive sales

BY HBSDEALER Staff

After soft Black Friday, the National Retail Federation expects total holiday sales to increase 3.9% this year. 

Overall spending over Black Friday weekend was expected to hit $57.4 billion, according to the National Retail Federation, which is down 2.8% from last year’s $59.1 billion. It was the first spending decline on a Black Friday weekend since 2009. But there was some good news for retailers: Online sales soared over the holiday weekend.

The NRF estimated that 141 million Americans shopped during the four-day weekend, up 1.2% from a year ago. And the retail group is still expecting total holiday sales to increase 3.9% to $602 billion.

On average, the NRF estimated that shoppers spent $407.02 from Thursday through Sunday, down from $423.55 last year because of lower prices expected to persist through the rest of the season.

The NRF said holiday shoppers started shopping earlier than previous years, contributing to the decline in average spending.

“Cold weather, unique promotions and unbeatable prices put millions of Americans in the mood to shop for holiday gifts this weekend,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Retailers’ late night and early morning promotions struck just the right chord for those hoping to kick off the holiday shopping season with friends and family.

“Retailers will continue to aggressively promote their in-store and online offerings, looking to entice today’s very budget-conscious and value-focused shopper," Shay added.

According to a NRF survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics over the weekend, traffic on Thanksgiving Day itself grew 27% as nearly 45 million shoppers, or 31.8% of holiday shoppers, took advantage of special “turkey day” savings offers, up from 35 million in 2012.  

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Home Depot makes charitable moves

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Using a Twitter campaign to help ramp up participation and visibility, The Home Depot Foundation is donating up to $100,000 to Operation Homefront, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to veterans, for the holidays.

"Veterans have given so much of themselves to ensure our freedom, yet so many face housing challenges – from accessibility to homelessness to maintenance," said Kelly Caffarelli, president of The Home Depot Foundation. "We’ve committed $80 million over five years to ensure every veteran has a safe place to call home, and partnerships with nonprofits like Operation Homefront are vital to achieving our mission."

Those who tweet #TeamDepot between #GivingTuesday (Dec. 3) and New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) will help share support for veterans, as well as increase the total donation amount ($1 per tweet, up to $100,000).

Operation Homefront is a national partner of The Home Depot Foundation and has helped repair and retrofit the homes of wounded veterans with the retailer’s assistance.

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HCN Stock Watch: Red Friday

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The majority of HCN Top 30 stocks declined on Friday during the half-day market open.

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