Last Friday, American consumers woke up early in the morning to catch Black Friday deals on their favorite brands. In past years, it wasn’t uncommon to see videos of frenzied customers sprinting to snatch the last T.V. or quick clips of people fighting over slightly discounted children’s toys. This year, you may have noticed a lack of Black Friday madness — where are all the crazy clips?! Well, one explanation is that many shoppers did most of their holiday shopping online and earlier in the year.
According to data, Black Friday shopping at retail stores rose 47.5% from last year but fell 28.3% from the pre-pandemic 2019 levels. This time last year, many people stayed at home because of the pandemic and reduced hours at retailers. And just like last season, shoppers are shopping earlier and staying home because of concerns about COVID and supply chain issues. However, the news of the new COVID variant didn’t stop many shoppers, as they stood outside stores at 5AM to “secure the bag.”
Online, retailers made 1% less in Black Friday sales from last year — more evidence that shoppers started their holiday shopping earlier in the year. This was also the first time that sales growth declined from the previous year.
It seems gone are the days of people running into stores like a pack of hyenas from the movie The Lion King. Shoppers are being more strategic with their holiday purchases, buying earlier in the season and being flexible with their shopping schedules to get great deals.
I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.