According to reports, Black Friday is approaching a slow death. But are these reports about the biggest shopping day of the year exaggerated? Or, are times just changing?
Bloomberg Technology reported that Black Friday is slowly becoming a thing of the past as online shopping and early discounts have kept many shoppers away from the brick-and-mortar stores. Online orders increased on Thanksgiving, the day before Black Friday. It provided a convenient alternative to standing in line and fight for deals with other shoppers.
According to Adobe Systems Inc., online sales on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday rose to 18 percent to $5.27 million. ShopperTank revealed that consumer visits to brick-and-mortar stores fell to one percent from a year prior. Smartphones and tablets have made it easier for consumers to shop from their couch. There is not even a need to turn on your computer or tablet to shop on Black Friday. Revenue generated from online mobile sales rose to $1.2 billion on Black Friday, a 33 percent increase from a year before, according to Adobe.
The National Retail Federation has estimated that 137.4 million consumers will shop in stores or online throughout the four-day shopping weekend that started on Thanksgiving for most stores. Major retailers such as Macy's, Walmart, and Target opened its doors on the evening of Thanksgiving for those who didn't want to wait until the morning of Black Friday to start their shopping. However, the amount that U.S. consumers has declined over the past three years, dropping to 26 percent from 2013 to an average of $299.60 per person in 2015.
There's a reason as to why consumers are holding onto their wallets. Consumer shopping confidence has dipped this year due to the presidential election. Many retail chains such as Barnes & Nobles Inc., Gap, and Kohl's Corp. have blamed the campaign season for the decrease in consumer spending. Now that Donald Trump's presidency has been revealed, shoppers may be more willing to spend their money.
So, is it true that Black Friday has become a thing of the past? Or, are those reports exaggerated? The National Retail Federation insisted that Black Friday is "far from gone." According to PBS.org, Black Friday will continue to bring customers in stores because of retail catchup, many get the day after Thanksgiving off from work, and the media's focused on the event is also what drives consumer sales.
The National Retail Federation revealed that many people were still shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Census data, meanwhile, shows lower sales in brick-and-mortar stores this year, plus an increase in online shopping. Time use data is now being used to show how shopping is taking up less time of the typical person's day. Many people don't want to waste their times driving out to the mall, finding a parking spot, and standing in line. They like the convenience and efficiency of shopping from home.
While brick-and-mortar stores are slowly becoming irrelevant for holiday shopping and daily shopping, Black Friday is still a big event in the U.S. Many people love the idea of scoring a deal among thousands of other shoppers. It's also a time of year where many consumers will visit retail stores that they would often ignore in their day-to-day life.
It was previously reported on the Business Insider that Black Friday is facing a slow death. The day after Thanksgiving has always become one of the biggest shopping days of the year in the U.S. However, many retailers have argued that opening early on Thanksgiving evening does not increase sales for Black Friday, rather, it spreads out the sales over the course of the weekend. Traffic to brick-and-mortar sales is expected to fall to 3.5 percent on Black Friday, according to data from location tracking app Foursquare.
Only 102 million consumers shopped on the Thanksgiving holiday last weekend, down from 142 million in 2012, according to the National Retail Federation. That doesn't necessarily mean people have stopped shopping for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It just means that more people are shopping online rather than in stores.
What are your thoughts? Do you think Black Friday is dying? Or, do you think it's just a sign of the times? Sound off below in the comments section.
[Featured image by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images]