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Data: Placer.ai; Chart: Axios Visuals

Black Friday was disappointing for retailers this year, as spending numbers underwhelmed and foot traffic declined dramatically, according to data from analytics firm Placer.ai.

By the numbers: Customer visits were down, on average, more than 26% compared to Black Friday 2019 at the six retailers Placer tracked.

The big picture: The National Retail Federation said Tuesday that more than 186 million shoppers purchased something online or in-store from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, down from 190 million a year ago.

  • Shoppers spent an average of $312, a 14% decline from $362 in 2019.

What they're saying: “It’s going to be a tough holiday season for most retailers,” Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at RSR Research, told the Washington Post.

  • “Target, Walmart, grocers and sporting goods stores are cleaning up, but hundreds of thousands of independent retailers have already gone out of business. Things are going to get worse before they get better."

Yes, but: Retailers didn't roll out the red carpet on sales and consumers still came. The 186.4 million shoppers this year was down from 2019 but significantly higher than the 165.8 million shoppers in 2018.

  • “As we’ve been suggesting since early pandemic days, when retailers stopped ordering product, manufacturers stopped making it, triggering broad-based inventory scarcity and allowing retailers a unique opportunity to pull back on promotions, regain pricing power, and elevate profits,” BMO Capital Markets’ Simeon Siegel told Barron's.

Go deeper

WSJ: UPS orders drivers to stop accepting packages from 6 major retailers

A UPS deliveryperson in Kips Bay, New York City. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

UPS ordered drivers to temporarily stop accepting packages from Macy's, Gap, Nike, L.L. Bean and other large retailers this week, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing an internal message confirmed to the Journal by UPS employees.

The big picture: Thanksgiving Day online sales reportedly hit a record $5.1 billion this year, while Americans spent $10.8 billion in e-commerce for Cyber Monday — the biggest U.S. online shopping day ever, per the Washington Post.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
30 mins ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Biden-Harris, Day 1: What mattered most

President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden arrive at the North Portico of the White House. Photo: Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images

The Axios experts help you sort significance from symbolism. Here are the six Day 1 actions by President Biden that matter most.

Driving the news: Today, on his first full day, Biden translates his promise of a stronger federal response to the pandemic into action — starting with 10 executive orders and other directives, Caitlin Owens writes.