Black Friday Draws Less In-Store Traffic as Shoppers Get Strategic

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Early-bird shoppers, a lack of door-busting discounts, and concerns about supply chain-related shortages accounted for a mixed bag of Black Friday retail sales this year.

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In-store shopper traffic grew 47.5% over last year, but was still down 28.3% from the 2019 season, according to data from sensory solution, a division of Johnson Controls (ticker: JCI).

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However, online Black Friday sales fell $8.9 billion This year, up from $9 billion last year, according to Adobe Digital Insights, which tracked more than 1 million visits to retail websites. Online Thanksgiving Day sales were about $5.1 billion. Adobe said it was the first time since 2012 that online sales did not increase in that period.

“For the first time, Black Friday reversed the growth trend of previous years,” said Vivek Pandya, principal analyst at Adobe. “Buyers are being strategic in their gift shopping, shopping very early in the season and being flexible when they shop to make sure they get the best deals.”

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Next on the calendar: Cyber ​​Monday, which is the first working day after Black Friday. The National Retail Federation estimates that 62.8 million Americans will shop on Cyber ​​Monday.

Among the deals being offered: Best Buy (BBY) is selling a $1,000 promotion on the Sony 55-inch Smart Android TV, which is on sale now $1,299.99 , (AMZN) is slashing the price of the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 by $150; Walmart (WMT) cuts $349 off the price of the iHome AutoVac Nova Self Empty Robot Vacuum and Mop; And Macy’s (M) is offering those that spend as little as $25 per 1/10 carat sterling silver diamond heart pendant $27.99 (Save $172).

Mastercard (MA) said that Black Friday sales grew by about 43% compared to 2020, while online sales increased by 10.6%. and Shopify said shoppers spent on average $101.20 on Black Friday transactions, compared to $90.70 last year.

NRF said 61% Shoppers surveyed started their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, with 46% saying they start earlier than they usually do.

Adobe got 19 days when consumers spent more than $3 billion compared to just five days last year. Due to inventory shortages and delays, Adobe said shoppers were twice as likely to receive out-of-stock messages now as they were before the pandemic.

Data shows people are planning to make more in-store purchases this year to avoid supply issues, according to Sensomatic.

Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting for Sensormatic, said, “While in-store shopping still hasn’t returned to 2019 levels, more shoppers have been able to come in person this Black Friday than they did this Black Friday. felt comfortable.” More consumers can shop earlier to get what they want and make sure their gifts arrive on time.

With many retailers closing on Thanksgiving Day, in-store traffic was down 90.4% compared to 2019.

Sensormatic’s holiday survey found that 65% of US consumers this season plan to shop in-store, browse for gifts, or see and touch items before buying. Still, it expects in-store traffic to be down 10% to 15% from 2019.

But curbside pickup, where shoppers buy goods online and pick them up at brick-and-mortar locations, is up 70% this month compared to before the pandemic.

NRF estimates that 62.8 million Americans will shop on Cyber ​​Monday, the first working day since Black Friday.

NS SPDR S&P Retail The exchange-traded fund (XRT) is up 58.8% this year, at its best-year pace since 2009, compared to a 22% gain for the S&P 500 this year.,

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