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In-store purchases down 28% on Black Friday from pre-pandemic levels

Shoppers carrying bags from different stores stand next to each other as sales begin on Black Friday at The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass in Simpsonville, Kentucky on November 26, 2021.

John Cherry | Reuters

According to preliminary data from Sensormatic Solutions, retail store traffic fell 28.3% on Black Friday from its 2019 level as Americans shifted more of their online spending and began shopping earlier in the year.

According to Sensormatic, traffic is up 47.5% year-over-year. This time around in 2020, many shoppers stayed at home amid fears of the coronavirus pandemic and retailers working on a slightly reduced schedule.

“It is very clear that shoppers are shopping early this season as they did last season,” said Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting at Sensormatic. He added that the two main reasons shoppers are spreading their holiday shopping are ongoing concerns about Covid and supply chain concerns.

Peak time for in-store shopping on Black Friday was between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm, according to Sensormatic, which is similar to trends in years past. According to Sensormatic, Black Friday will continue to be the busiest day for in-store shopping of the season.

According to Sensormatic, brick-and-mortar visits were down 90.4% on Thanksgiving Day compared to 2019 levels. Retailers including Target, Walmart and Best Buy have decided not to close their doors to shoppers during the holidays. Target said it will be a permanent shift.

Field said Black Friday shopper traffic came closest to returning to 2019 levels in the South, then the Midwest, and then the West and Northeast. He does not believe that growing concerns about a new variant of Covid, omicron, had any impact on consumer behavior that day.

“If you start to notice outbreaks in the United States, then I think [traffic down] will be if governments and communities start blocking again, Field said. “Otherwise, I think the trends will be very similar to those we expect from them.”

Online Spending On Black Friday Down From 2020 Level

Online shopping on Black Friday increased sales by $ 8.9 billion. up from a record $ 9 billion spent on Friday after Thanksgiving a year earlier, according to data from Adobe Analytics. This was the first time in history that growth was reversed from the previous year, according to Adobe. Adobe analyzes over one trillion visits to retail sites in the United States with over 100 million products across 18 different product categories.

Consumers spent $ 5.1 billion online on Thanksgiving Day, according to Adobe, up from last year’s level.

The numbers further suggest that the holiday season has stretched out as more Americans started shopping back in October. Retailers also distribute their promotional offers. In accordance with National Retail Federation survey, a leading trade group in retail, 61% of consumers have already started shopping for holiday gifts before Thanksgiving.

“Shoppers strategically shop for gifts, buy them much earlier in the season, and choose flexibly when they shop to make sure they get the best deals,” said Vivek Pandia, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights.

Adobe predicts e-commerce sales on Cyber ​​Monday, the largest online shopping day of the year, to be between $ 10.2 billion and $ 11.3 billion.

However, shoppers can expect various items to be out of stock as supply chain difficulties have dramatically reduced inventory levels for some companies.

Out-of-stock reports on retailers’ websites were up 124% Friday from pre-pandemic levels, according to Adobe. According to Adobe, the biggest shortages of goods are found in home appliances, electronics, household goods, and home and garden goods.


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