Black Friday Sees More People In Stores

Online sales didn’t increase year over year, and Cyber Monday sales are looking flat.

November 30, 2021

Black Friday Sales Sign

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—This Black Friday saw many consumers return to brick-and-mortar businesses for holiday shopping, reports CNBC.

In-store traffic was up 47.5% compared with 2020, according to Sensormatic, though traffic at retail stores on Black Friday dropped 28.3% compared with 2019 levels. Peak traffic times were between 1 and 3 p.m., which is similar to trends in years past. Foot traffic at indoor malls on Black Friday rose 83.5% from 2020, according to Placer.ai, an analytics firm that uses mobile-device location data to measure foot traffic.

Online Black Friday retail sales didn’t increase from 2020, according to some industry estimates. Online Black Friday sales slipped to $8.9 billion from $9 billion last year, according to Adobe Inc., while Thanksgiving Day online sales were roughly flat at $5.1 billion, which is the first time sales didn’t increase since Adobe started tracking in 2012.

“Black Friday still remains a major online shopping day, but the surge in online shopping is coming from the less marketed days of the season,” Taylor Schreiner, director at Adobe Digital Insights, told Bloomberg, noting that shoppers started with their purchases since late October.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Cyber Monday sales were flat this year. Shoppers spent $7.1 billion online as of 9 p.m. ET in the U.S., according to Adobe. Shoppers were expected to spend between $10.4 billion and $11.1 billion on Cyber Monday, Adobe said. American consumers spent $10.8 billion online last year.

Thanksgiving Day online sales were the same as last year at $5.1 billion. Big retailers Target, Walmart and Best Buy were not open on Thanksgiving this year. Target said it will permanently close on Thanksgiving moving forward.

Americans are choosing to shop earlier for holiday gifts—some as early as October, and retailers have been spreading out their offers to meet this demand. According to a survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF), the retail industry’s leading trade group, 61% of consumers had already started purchasing holiday gifts before Thanksgiving.

NRF expects holiday sales during November and December to rise between 8.5% and 10.5%, for a total of between $843.4 billion and $859 billion of sales, which would set a record for year-over-year growth.

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