Consumers spent less money on Black Friday

Less money was spent on Black Friday, according to the NRF While more consumers ventured out to stores on Black Friday than they had one year earlier, spending saw a decrease to kick off the 2009 holiday season.

According to the National Retail Federation, the average consumer who participated in Black Friday sales spent an average of $343.31. The figure was 7.9 percent below the $372.57 average spent by consumers during the shopping holiday in 2008, Reuters reported.

The decline in spending came despite the survey’s findings that 195 million shoppers descended on retail stores during Black Friday, up from the 172 million shoppers documented in 2008.

"While retailers are encouraged by the number of Americans who shopped over Black Friday weekend, they know they have their work cut out for them to keep people coming back through Christmas," said Tracy Mullin, CEO and president of the NRF.

While the NRF blamed the decrease in sales on consumers deciding to purchase less expensive items, a survey conducted by America’s Research Group suggested that credit card debt consolidation over the holiday could have played a factor as well.

According to the survey, which was conducted for Reuters, only 26 percent of consumers said they used a credit card while 74 percent used either cash or debit cards.

ARG founder Britt Beemer noted that credit card purchases were usually 20 to 40 percent more expensive than purchases using other payment methods, Reuters reported.