For many, Black Friday will be a day of leisure following a traditional turkey dinner with family and friends the night before. But there’s going to be no rest for the determined bargain hunter. Traditionally, the holiday shopping frenzy has begun the day after Thanksgiving.
Retailers advertise what they say are the best deals of the season on popular gifting items like toys, electronics, and clothing on Black Friday. However, it’s obvious that retailers this year threw out the playbook and started offering Black Friday-style discounts weeks ahead of the actual day.
Industry observers speculate that this means that those looking for a good deal may find that some of the best ones have already gone through, potentially diluting.
Industry observers speculate that this means that, for those looking for a good deal, some of the best offers may have already gone through, potentially lessening the impact of Black Friday, or they may be spaced out to run after Black Friday in an effort to encourage customers to keep spending more money all the way up to Christmas.
This is significant because the gift-buying months of November through December can make up as much as 20% of retailers’ annual sales, or a substantial portion of them.
Holiday sales this year are expected to rise by 4% (not adjusted for inflation), according to the National Retail Federation, a trade association for the retail sector. This is a lower increase than the 5.4% increase in 2022.
“Grey Friday is more similar to Black Friday.” This year, the impact of Black Friday is starting to wane once more. The excitement and sense of urgency have vanished. However, Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry analyst at market research firm Circana, noted that consumers are still looking for value.
Before, in order to take advantage of those discounts, shoppers had to get up early and set up camp outside their preferred store to be the first in line and fill their cart with what were known as “doorbuster” specials—those extra-sweet deals that were available for a short period of time in an effort to draw in early Black Friday crowds.
You lost, then, if you slept in.
However, as internet shopping has grown in popularity recently—particularly among younger consumers who aren’t big fans of doorbuster sales—this shopping bonanza has seen a noticeable evolution.
Value-seeking is still a driving force, but the landscape has shifted with the rise of online shopping, with homework now being completed mostly online and occasionally in physical stores. Value hunting is now easier with the internet, according to Cohen.
In response to the changing consumer perception of Black Friday, retailers have extended the one-day deals frenzy into a week-long or even month-long event in an attempt to get shoppers into the holiday shopping spirit earlier. This is because rising prices, the start of student loan repayments, and higher interest and mortgage rates have raised concerns about consumers’ ability to spend money.
Retailers and customers are currently engaged in a tug-of-war, according to Wells Fargo managing director Adam Davis. Shops this year have far better inventory than they did last year, when they had an abundance of extra holiday merchandise and had to drastically lower prices to get rid of it.
Source: Cosmo Politian