Is Black Friday doomed to extinction?
It wasn’t so long ago that retailers felt obligated to open early on the purported busiest shopping day of the year, and customers responded by lining up out their doors. But Black Friday isn’t what it used to be. That’s one key takeaway from the second annual JDA Consumer Survey.
Responding to a survey polling 1,000 shoppers, 47 percent said that they plan to skip 2016’s Black Friday (or Cyber Monday), and 73 percent prefer to do their shopping outside of the holiday season during newer e-commerce deal days like Amazon Prime Day. Even some of those who went out to the stores for deals last year are sitting out Black Friday this year, with 34 percent indicating a change in behavior.
These responses anticipate a further drop in Black Friday shopping that will continue the trend established last year when reports indicated a significant year-over-year drop in brick-and-mortar retail sales.
This apparent shift has led some to ask if Black Friday is losing its relevance entirely. The increasing prominence and ease of online shopping, as well as the introduction of sales even earlier in the holiday season that take the focus off of the specific day, have been cited as reasons for the holiday’s ongoing decline.
Among retailers that have been moving away from the event is Apple, which in 2015 neglected to run Black Friday promotions in their stores entirely. The previous year Apple had begun to downplay the holiday’s importance, backing away from stressful doorbuster sales in the interest of treating their employees more kindly during the holidays.
But the fact that some of those surveyed are eschewing Cyber Monday in favor of Amazon Prime Day for online shopping could point to another substantial shift — to people looking for year-round online deals.
On the other hand, Adobe’s Holiday Shopping Prediction report forecasts that Cyber Monday this year will be the largest online shopping day of all time.
- Is Black Friday “Over?” JDA Survey Reveals Half of Consumers Are Not Planning to Shop Black Friday This Holiday Season – JDA
- Does weak traffic spell trouble for Black Friday? – RetailWire
- Did Apple get it right by skipping Black Friday deals? – RetailWire
- Adobe Predicts Record $91 Billion in Sales This Holiday Season – Adobe
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How should retailers approach Black Friday given its apparent waning popularity? Is online shopping the main culprit undermining Black Friday’s significance or do you see other causes?