Happy November! Now that we have officially transitioned to Fall, we can get even more excited for the holidays! Specifically, Black Friday. Since Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days in the U.S., many retailers open the doors the night before. However, there are some who aren’t finding those extra hours worth it.
So far, 57 retailers, such as H&M, IKEA, Nordstrom, and Costco have decided to remain closed on Thanksgiving. As of late, people are shopping less on Black Friday weekend, especially in stores. A 2016 survey shows that about 55% of American consumers dislike the idea of stores being open on the holiday. Not shocking! As much as Americans love great deals, they love their families and stuffing more.
REI vs. Retail Giants
Last year, we discussed how traditional retailers like Macy’s and Walmart eliminated over 100 stores but consistently rely on Black Friday for traffic and sales. On the other hand, outdoor retailer REI will close on Thanksgiving and Black Friday for the third year in a row. CEO Jerry Stritzke is against the idea of being open on a holiday and criticizes retailers like Macy’s and Walmart, claiming that open doors “encourages rampant consumerism.” Not wrong.
Crazy enough, this strategy has worked in REI’s favor. The company started closing on Black Friday in 2015, and has seen growth in sales since. Not only has the company seen revenue growth, but many customers also value and respect REI more. The company encourages people to spend time outdoors, using the hashtag #OptOutside on its social media platforms. Thousands of followers joined in the conversation last year.
Black Friday Spending Losing Its Momentum?
Black Friday isn’t totally dead yet. Consumers are expected to spend about $680 billion this year, but it’s a pretty small increase from last year’s $656 billion. Because of the tremendous shift in e-commerce, people no longer feel that sense of urgency to shop because amazing deals will continue throughout the holiday season, whether that’s online or in stores. Also, deals exist almost every day. Take Amazon for example. People are used to getting great deals when it’s not holiday shopping season, so that feeling of “must shop now” has faded. Some even choose to opt out on Black Friday shopping so that they can spend more time with their families.
Shoppers Pumped for Online Steals
We can’t forget about Cyber Monday! It’s one of the biggest and most convenient shopping days of the year. People can easily shop when they’re at work, and they don’t have to worry about lines. Last year, about 39% of shoppers surveyed by RetailMeNot planned to shop online during Cyber Monday. This year, over 56% of shoppers say they will shop on Cyber Monday. Also, many of the “best deals” on Thanksgiving day become available online, so to avoid waiting in long lines, people will stay in. About 30% of Black Friday shoppers say they’ll be shopping online rather than in stores. Some retailers even start their deals earlier than the holidays. Dell, for instance, started its deals yesterday.
Predictions for this year’s Black Friday weekend say that consumer spending will grow about 47%. So Black Friday isn’t completely dead yet… but with the changes in holiday shopping and an ever-growing e-commerce market, it sure is dwindling.