Was Black Friday a bust?
Those long contending Black Friday is no longer relevant certainly have a strong argument this year.
In-store traffic on Black Friday collapsed 52.1 percent year-over-year, according to Sensormatic Solutions. A steep decline was expected as a second wave of COVID cases raged across the country to keep shoppers at home. Stores in Los Angeles County were forced to limit occupancy to 25 percent. Most retailers closed their stores on Thanksgiving to give their workers a break and offered fewer in-store doorbusters when they opened their doors around dawn on Friday.
“There’s definitely a pretty clear feeling that you don’t need to be out today,” Joseph Feldman, senior managing director at Telsey Advisory Group, told NBC News, about Black Friday. “I think that was by design. Retailers didn’t want to create a frenzy.”
In-store traffic was also watered down by the release of holiday deals as early as the first week of October. Retailers have gone online with many of their doorbuster-type deals.
Online spending on Black Friday jumped 22 percent from a year ago, according to Adobe Analytics, which measures 80 of the top 100 U.S. e-commerce sites. The growth was on the low end of Adobe’s forecasted range, although it still marked the second best online sales day ever after 2019’s Cyber Monday.
“What we’re seeing this year is $1 out of every $4 this season is being spent online. And that’s a marked increase from last year when it was about $1 out of every $5,” Adobe’s senior digital insights manager Vivek Pandya told CNN Business. “That’s additional billions of dollars that are being migrated online. And that’s being done in a very short period of time because of the pandemic.”
The growing trend during the pandemic toward the use of pickup services — curbside and in-store — continued, with a 52 percent year-over-year increase on Black Friday, Adobe said.
Amazon, Walmart and Target are expected to continue to benefit from one-stop shopping convenience, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Journal reported, however, that it’s still uncertain whether the early deals, accelerated online growth and an expected record Cyber Monday “will be enough to offset the money lost from in-person shopping for many chains.”
- Sensormatic Solutions Releases Black Friday Results From Shopper Insights Traffic Analytics – Sensormatic Solutions/Business Wire
- RetailNext announces Black Friday Sales and Foot Traffic Data as Shoppers Show Strong Intent to Buy When Venturing Out – RetailNext
- Black Friday Was a Bust for Many Stores, Better for Online – The Wall Street Journal
- Black Friday lures shoppers, despite the pandemic – Los Angeles Times
- Black Friday shopping in stores craters 52 percent during pandemic as e-commerce sales surge – CNBC
- Black Friday 2020 online shopping surges 22% to record $9 billion, Adobe says – CNBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Was Black Friday a success, a disappointment or something in between? What holiday insights did the Black Friday experience offer about this year’s holiday season and those to come in the future?