Holiday sales are expected to reach at least $942 billion this season, up 6% from last year, according to the National Retail Federation. But with online shopping and previous sales, is Black Friday still as strong in holiday shopping as it was in the past?
Kristen Gall, president of cashback app Rakuten Rewards, said Black Friday is “not dead” and instead “has changed a lot.”
“A lot fewer people are willing to go into the store on Black Friday and fight people and use their elbows,” Gall said.
The National Retail Federation estimates that 115 million people will shop in stores and online this year on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, the traditional day of discount shopping. An estimated 64 million people are also expected to shop Cyber Monday.
But some retailers have started selling for weeks earlier this year, which Gall said has helped change the mood of Black Friday as well.
“Retailers are more willing to allow us to shop for longer periods of time,” Gall said.
Excess inventory left over from the pandemic is also boosting these holiday sales. Gall said this Black he predicts Friday bargains will be “more aggressive than ever.”
“There’s no space in their warehouse,” she said. “They’re going to cut prices on everything.”
But others, like Eric Artz, CEO and president of outdoor gear and clothing store REI, say Black Friday is actually dying for them. The company began pulling back from Black Friday, the traditional shopping day, in 2015. Earlier this year, REI announced that the move would be permanent.
Artz said business at REI has “thrived” since then.
“Including the Black Friday action, we had a record year for both sales and profits,” he said. “This is a testament to the fact that we put the purpose of our employees first and put purpose above profit. [that] Benefits will come in due course. ”
Stores like Target, Macy’s, and Walmart have followed suit in recent years by closing on Thanksgiving.