Black Friday better for retailers -- even small stores -- than Small Business Saturday (The Bismark Tribune)

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FARGO -- Even for small businesses here, Black Friday could be a better day for sales than Small Business Saturday.

That’s a main takeaway from a new national analysis of transactions at nearly 65,000 retailers in the U.S., including about 200 businesses in North Dakota, during the 2016 holiday shopping season.

Womply’s new analysis found North Dakota retailers had one of their best days of business last year on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, with revenue at 217 percent of normal daily revenue. Black Friday shopping eclipsed the revenue of North Dakota retailers on Small Business Saturday, an annual event encouraging locals to support their small businesses that’s held the Saturday after Thanksgiving. On the day last year, retailers reported 156 of average daily revenue, according to the report. Revenue was 144 percent of normal on Dec. 23, the day before Christmas Eve.

Nationally, Womply says the three biggest days for revenue for retailers in 2016 were Black Friday, with sales 77 percent higher than usual, Dec. 23, with sales up 48 percent, and Small Business Saturday, which saw a sales boost of 38 percent.

The report also found that shoppers tend to be “drawn” to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday deals, then procrastinate to finish their holiday shopping until the last minute -- which is why Dec. 23 is a big day at stores.

Womply, which provides insights and analysis to small businesses, said North Dakota experienced the country’s third largest Black Friday sales bump last year of 117 percent. Only Alaska (130 percent) and Maryland (117 percent) had a bigger increase on the date.

Minnesota retailers also had their sales more than double on Black Friday last year, adding up to a larger impact on revenue than the 63 percent boost they experienced on Small Business Saturday.

Nationally, Womply found Black Friday was a bigger sales day than Small Business Saturday in every state except Maine.