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Symbian Authors: Jack Newton, Kevin Benedict, Matthew Lobas, Shelly Palmer, RealWire News Distribution

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First Data Releases Black Friday 2012 SpendTrend® Analysis

First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, today released its First Data SpendTrend® analysis for Black Friday 2012 compared to Black Friday 2011. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.

Earlier Store Openings Lured Shoppers

Year-over-year retail dollar volume growth on Thanksgiving and Black Friday was healthy at 5.6% as many retailers started the holiday shopping season earlier this year and consumers welcomed the opportunity to find bargains. The growth was impressive considering tough 2011 comps and that retail dollar volume growth has been in the 3% range for the past couple of months. Retail category performance varied considerably with building material, garden equipment and supply dealers, and clothing and clothing accessories stores being the top performers.

Average Ticket Growth Spiked Due To Less Aggressive Discounting

Average ticket growth at retailers swung from negative (-0.9%) in 2011 to positive (+1.9%) in 2012 over the Thanksgiving to Black Friday period. Shoppers boosted their overall spend and retailers shifted discounting strategies. The rise in average tickets reflect the strengthening position of retail as some merchants may have less of an incentive to drive sales at the expense of profits.

“Holiday spending got off to a strong start as consumers were attracted by retailers' efforts to make shopping easier, including opening stores on Thanksgiving and expanding shipping and layaway options,” said Rikard Bandebo, vice president and economist, First Data. “Even though spending was not quite as strong on the East Coast, spending in hurricane-struck areas was still healthy and consumer confidence has been strong. While the start of the holiday spending season appeared good, merchants will monitor shoppers to see if they can sustain the spending growth through the holiday season.”

Overall Retail Growth Rates

CHANGE

Dollar Volume +5.6%
Transaction +3.6%
Average Ticket +1.9%

Note: All transactions are same-store growth.

For more information on First Data SpendTrend, visit www.firstdata.com/infoanalytics or call SpendTrend Customer Care at 800-430-0169.

To participate in the SpendTrend conversation, please follow First Data at http://twitter.com/spendtrend and join us at http://facebook.com/spendtrend.

Around the world, every second of every day, First Data makes payment transactions secure, fast and easy for merchants, financial institutions and their customers. First Data leverages its vast product portfolio and expertise to drive customer revenue and profitability. Whether the choice of payment is by debit or credit card, gift card, check or mobile phone, online or at the checkout counter, First Data takes every opportunity to go beyond the transaction.

First Data SpendTrend, a macro-economic indicator, is based on aggregate same-store sales activity in the First Data Point of Sale Network. First Data SpendTrend does not represent First Data’s financial performance.

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