Black Friday shoppers are returning to stores, setting a record online
Shoppers returned to stores on Black Friday, with a sharp increase in brick-and-mortar foot traffic and record online shopping, showing consumers have changed their approach in the busiest season.
According to retail analytics provider Sensormatic Solutions, Black Friday in-person visits to stores grew 2.9% year over year despite decades of inflation.
Additionally, thanksgiving visits to physical stores increased 19.7% from 2021 as more retailers opened their doors on Thursday than a year earlier.
Far fewer stores are open on Thanksgiving than on Black Friday, so the increase is somewhat misleading, Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting at Sensormatic, told The Post.
“If I look at previous seasons when stores were open on Thanksgiving Day, the traffic on those days is so light compared to a normal Thursday,” Field said.
Field added that Black Friday’s surge in shoppers in stores is a better indicator of how the rest of the holiday season will pan out. “We’re expecting good things today and for the rest of the weekend,” he said. “Plus 2.9% is a great start to the Christmas season.”
The National Retail Federation expects November and December holiday sales to increase between 6% and 8% compared to 2020 to $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion, respectively. But how much of the increase will reflect inflation rather than more giving is unclear at this point. Inflation cooled slightly in October but still reached 7.7%, putting pressure on budget-strapped households.
Holiday retail sales have risen an average of 4.9% over the past 10 years, the NRF said, with pandemic spending driving significant gains in recent years. Last year’s holiday sales rose 13.5% from 2020 to a total of $889.3 billion, breaking previous records.
But a lot of the growth is now coming from consumers who are letting their fingers do the shopping.
Black Friday online sales hit a record high as more people than ever chose to check their smartphones for holiday deals.
Cyber spending on Black Friday hit $9.12 billion this year, up 2.3% year-on-year and surpassing the previous record of $9 billion set in 2020, with the main drivers behind the increase, according to Adobe Analytics electronics, toys and exercise equipment goods.
Not only has online spending set records this year, but so has the way shoppers made their purchases.
Almost half of online sales were made from a smartphone, 48%, which is an all-time high for mobile shopping, up from 44% last year.
The data also sheds light on how shoppers are dealing with inflation-driven pricing, with the popularity of “buy now, pay later” plans increasing dramatically.
Total buy now pay later orders increased 78% last week compared to the previous week. Revenue from those orders increased 81% over the same period.
“As Black Friday saw record spending online, we’re also seeing clearer signs of a price-conscious consumer this year,” said Vivek Pandya, senior analyst at Adobe Digital Insights. “Shoppers are using the Buy Now, Pay Later payment method more this year to buy desired gifts for family and friends.”
Financial concerns also plagued in-store shoppers, with 42% saying the timing of discounts and promotions will affect their shopping plans.
“I don’t think we’ve asked that question in other years,” Field said. “This question came from the fact that they said finances play a big part.”
One shopper who wasn’t bargain-hunting was President Joe Biden, who spent an hour and a half shopping on Tony Nantucket Island with first lady Jill Biden, his daughter Ashley Biden, his son Hunter and wife Melissa Cohen’s grandson Beau.
The first family stopped at at least nine stores on Small Business Saturday, once exiting luxury boutique David Chase to the cheers of a small crowd gathered outside on a windy, 46-degree afternoon. One person shouted “I love you” as the Bidens crossed the street, and POTUS replied, “Thank you!” as he waved to the group.
https://nypost.com/2022/11/26/black-friday-shoppers-back-to-stores-set-record-online/ Black Friday shoppers are returning to stores, setting a record online