How did Black Friday sales impact Austin retailers?

Black Friday provides plenty of opportunities for holiday shoppers to receive significant discounts, and this year's post-Thanksgiving Day sales proved worthwhile for many consumers. In many cities and towns, local retailers are heavily impacted by the large groups of visitors who come to their stores after Thanksgiving, and merchants in Austin were no exception. Whether you're a long-time resident or simply checking out some of the homes for sale in Austin, it's likely that Black Friday sales will dramatically affect this city and its surrounding communities in 2012 and beyond.

According to comScore, this year's online Black Friday sales topped $1 billion nationwide. Additionally, there was also a 26 percent year-over-year increase in web-based sales in 2012 on Black Friday.

"With Black Friday online sales up 26 percent and surpassing $1 billion for the first time...we can now confidently call it a multi-channel marketing phenomenon," comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a press release. "Meanwhile, Thanksgiving Day - which has historically been a lighter online holiday shopping day - continues to gain steam and grew well ahead of the current pace as more consumers opted to kick off their holiday shopping immediately after the big meal to take advantage of aggressive retailer promotions."

Black Friday sales in Austin
The Austin American-Statesman reports that Black Friday sales brought cautious optimism to many local retailers. Various stores offered late-night sales on Thanksgiving, and many merchants had early-morning lines on Black Friday as people wanted to score some of the biggest deals of the holiday season.

Additionally, several local shopping malls saw a continuously-growing crowd of holiday shoppers throughout Black Friday. While the annual sales event typically marks the busiest day of the year for many stores, shoppers are likely to continue making purchases in the days leading up to Christmas.

A November 2012 survey from The Conference Board reflects consumers' interest in holiday shopping. This study showed that U.S. households plan to spend an average of $521 on gifts this holiday season. Lynn Franco, the board's Director of Economic Indicators, said many consumers appear to be in better spirits than they were last year, and nearly 10 percent of survey participants noted that they intend to spend more during the 2012 holiday season than they did in 2011.

Are significant profits for Austin retailers on the horizon?
Recent data suggest that the holiday season could help Austin retailers increase their profits. Several economic indicators show that Austin continues to improve, which could benefit merchants in the next few weeks.

For example, a group of Austin housing experts recently noted that Central Texas home sales rose 37 percent between October 2011 and October 2012. The median price of homes in this area also increased 5 percent during that time frame.

The rise in home sales and prices reflects the interest in Austin properties. This city is home to numerous amenities, entertainment venues and landmarks that make it attractive to a large group of property buyers, and when newcomers purchase these residences, they help the economy grow.

A booming economy supports homeowners and business operators. Property owners can watch the value of their properties rise due to the increased interest in the area, and residents can further help the economy by purchasing items from local retailers.

Sales may be rampant throughout the holiday season, and this period could prove to be ideal for people who are looking to move to Austin. The city's retailers will affect the area's economy, and may help it further expand.