The NY Times reports:
After spending years to make Black Friday into the year’s blockbuster shopping day, retailers undercut themselves last week.
Sales on the day after Thanksgiving fell from those a year earlier, according to one major tracker, the first decline since the recession of 2008, as stores started their “doorbuster” promotions early in the week and opened for business on Thursday evening.
The culprit seems to be less a faltering economy and more a diffusion of holiday shopping to other days and online.
Black Friday “is certainly not dead,” said Matthew Shay, chief executive of the National Retail Federation trade group, but “it’s starting to spread out.”