Here’s Why Fewer People Are Shopping in Stores on Black Friday
Traditional Black Friday shopping has lost some of its appeal.
Just 23% of U.S. adults are planning to shop in stores on Black Friday, according to a recent Bankrate report. While that’s still a big chunk of consumers, it’s down from 28% in 2014. In fact, 53% of Americans say they won’t shop over Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday. Only 15% of Americans will venture out to stores open on Thanksgiving Day, according to the survey.
There used to be a sense of urgency to get to stores early on Black Friday for the best deals, but that’s no longer the case: In 2016, consumers can find most of those deals online over the course of a couple days, and they don’t have to brave massive crowds to do it.
“Two years ago, Black Friday was one day. Last year it was a weeklong event. This year it’s been a month-long event,” Shelley Kohan, vice president of retail consulting at in-store analytics firm RetailNext, told Bankrate. “A lot of Black Friday deals are already out there. They’ve been out there since the beginning of the month.”
For example, Amazon(AMZN) launched its online Black Friday Deals store in the beginning of the month. And with its eye on the online retailer, Walmart’s online Black Friday deals will happen even earlier this year.
Still, despite the drop in the number of consumers camping out in front of stores, Black Friday sales are expected to increase 2.6% from last year, especially among younger millennials—the age group most enthusiastic about in-store Black Friday shopping, the survey reports. Overall, holiday sales are projected to increase by 4.7%.
And even though fewer people plan to shop on Black Friday, the people who are planning to do so are expected to pay more: Median spending is expected to increase to $300 this year, up from $200 in 2014.