The day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, is when the holiday shopping season in the United States traditionally begins and is the day when retailers (at least in the past) finally turned a profit, going from “being in the red” to “in the black.” However, in recent years, this trend has seen turned upside down, with sales on Black Friday slipping, as retailers offer pre-Thanksgiving deals ever earlier than in recent years to capture heavily discounted market share (think OPEC) and draw shoppers as “Black Friday” no longer marks the spending peak at brick-and-mortar chains.
According to National Retail Federation data, the number of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers has fallen by nearly a third in just the past three years to 102 million in 2015, from 147 million in 2012, not only as a result of bricks and mortar stores starting the selling season earlier but due to stiff competition form online vendors, most notably Amazon. Moreover, early holiday promotions and online shopping hurt in-store spending by more than 6 percent last year.
As a result, participation in this year’s Black Friday looks like it may be the worst in history: according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll of 1,639 adults showed 63%, or nearly two-thirds, did not plan to shop on Black Friday this year. Some 32% said they plan to finish about half of their holiday shopping on that day. While selling tactics are certainly a factor, one wonders how much of decline in spending is due to lack of disposable income for the tapped out US consumer? – READ MORE