• Market Crumbs

It Appears Black Friday Is Becoming More Irrelevant

Image via Sputnik International

The death of brick-and-mortar retailers, commonly referred to as the "retail apocalypse," has been a theme for the better part of this decade. A number of factors such as the rise of e-commerce, changing consumer behaviors and rising rents have caused countless retailers to close thousands of stores.

With the holidays quickly approaching, sales data from last week's Black Friday is the latest reminder that the "retail apocalypse" is likely to only get worse. While consumers are still spending, data from Adobe Analytics points to an increasing preference among consumers to shop online.

Black Friday shoppers spent $7.4 billion online, an increase of 19.6% from last year. While still short of the estimates of $7.6 billion, the total marks the second-largest online shopping day in history behind last year's Cyber Monday, which saw $7.9 billion in sales. Adobe expects spending for today's Cyber Monday to reach a new record of $9.4 billion, which would indicate an 18.9% increase from 2018.

Thanks to the internet and boredom on Thanksgiving, consumers are no longer waiting for Black Friday to begin shopping. Online sales on Thanksgiving reached $4.2 billion, marking the first time online sales on Thanksgiving surpassed $4 billion. The total marks a 14.5% increase from Thanksgiving of last year.

As for foot traffic in brick-and-mortar stores, ShopperTrak estimates that visits to stores fell a combined 3% during Thanksgiving and Black Friday compared with the same period last year. Foot traffic on Thanksgiving increased by 2.3% compared with last year, while Black Friday foot traffic fell 6.2% from a year ago.

"What all of this really boils down to is the customer journey has changed, now it can start anywhere online, in-store and end anywhere ... and it is about making sure the customer makes the purchase and stays loyal to the brands more than where it happens," said Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting for ShopperTrak.

While many retailers are just as happy to have a sale online as they are in store, the data from this holiday season so far points to further trouble ahead for brick-and-mortar retailers. With costs such as rent and wages continuing to increase, the future of retail may very well end up being a smaller physical presence as consumers increasingly prefer to shop online.

With Black Friday becoming more irrelevant every year, the videos of people fighting to get into stores may one day become a thing of the past.

Leftover Crumbs

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