28% Fall In In-Store Shopping On Black Friday Compared To Pre-Pandemic Levels

The number of shoppers in retail stores during Black Friday dropped 28.3% when compared to levels in 2019 which is a result of Americans have shifted more of their spending to online and began early in the calendar year according to preliminary figures provided by Sensormatic Solutions.

The traffic was up 47.5 percent compared to the same time last year, Sensormatic said. In 2020, the majority of shoppers stayed home due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic , and also because stores operated with reduced hours.

“It’s clear shoppers are shopping earlier this season, just as they did last season,” said Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting at Sensormatic.

He said that the two major reasons that customers are spreading their purchases for the holidays are worries about Covid and fears concerning the supplier chain.

The peak hour to go out for Black Friday shopping in stores was between 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Similar to previous years’ trends, Sensormatic said. Black Friday continues to be the busiest buying day during the year according to Sensormatic.

On Thanksgiving day, trips to brick-and-mortar shops fell 90.4 percent from levels in 2019, Sensormatic found. Retailers such as Target, Walmart and Best Buy chose to shut their doors to shoppers during the day of Thanksgiving. Target has announced that it will be a continuous shift.

Field reported that shopping behavior at Black Friday was closest to returning to levels from 2019 in the South then the Midwest and finally in the West along with the Northeast. Field isn’t convinced that rising fears about the latest Covid variation, called omicron has had any effect on the behavior of shoppers during the day.

“If you start seeing outbreaks in the U.S., the thing that I think would drive [traffic down] would be if governments and communities start locking down again,” Field said. “Otherwise, I think the trends will be very similar to what we expect them to be.”

 Online, retailers made $8.9 billion worth of revenue on Black Friday, down from the record-breaking $9 billion on the Friday following Thanksgiving the year before according to data provided by Adobe Analytics. This was the first time that the growth rate reversed from previous time, Adobe said. Adobe analyses over one trillion of visits on U.S. retail sites, including more than 100 million items across 18 categories of products.

On Thanksgiving Day, people have spent $5.1 billion online, down from the previous year, Adobe said.

The figures provide further evidence that the season is stretched because more Americans began shopping in October. Retailers are spreading their promotions as well. According to a report from the National Retail Federation, the largest trade association in the retail industry 61% of customers were already shopping for presents for the holidays prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Shoppers are being strategic in their gift shopping, buying much earlier in the season and being flexible about when they shop to make sure they get the best deals,” said Vivek Pandya, a lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights.

(Adapted from DailyMail.co.uk)

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