Black Friday Was a Bust, Will Cyber Monday Be Better?

Mish

On Black Friday, foot traffic plunged while online sales jumped. Cyber Monday now begins.

Black Friday Bust

For retailers without a strong online presence, Black Friday Was a Bust.

Roughly half as many people visited stores on Black Friday as they did last year, according to research firms that track foot traffic. Meanwhile, online spending jumped 22% from a year ago, making it the second-best online shopping day ever measured by Adobe Analytics.

On Black Friday online sales hit $9 billion, up 22% from last year, according to Adobe Analytics, which measures 80 of the top 100 U.S. e-commerce sites. The gain was near the low end of Adobe’s forecast, which had projected growth of between 20% and 42% from last year.

Meanwhile, foot traffic to stores on Black Friday fell 48% this year from last year, said RetailNext, which provides cameras, software and analytics to thousands of U.S. stores and shopping centers. Sensormatic Solutions, another tracking firm with cameras in stores, said in-store traffic fell 52% on Black Friday compared with last year.

It is unclear whether an early start to the holiday shopping season, the online Black Friday surge and an expected record day on Cyber Monday will be enough to offset the money lost from in-person shopping for many chains.

One Stop Shopping

Stores like Walmart and Target did much better than department stores. 

Covid-wary shoppers are reluctant to go to multiple stores and stand in multiple lines.

At a Walmart superstore, people can buy a TV dinner, a TV, and a game to play after. 

Cyber Monday in now in the batter's box.

Even though online sales on Black Friday were up, they barely matched expectations while foot traffic was a total loser for many stores.

All things considered, Black Friday was an overall downer but results varied widely.

I suspect Cyber Monday will be more of the same. We will find out later today.

Mish

Comments (21)
No. 1-17
randocalrissian
randocalrissian

Knowing supply chain has some fragmentation in spots, we completed 80% of our Christmas shopping well before Black Friday. I suspect a lot of people who have a basic grasp on economics have done the same. This summer I tried buying various watercraft, which was a joke on me (backordered 3-4 months). Not this time.

Lance Manly
Lance Manly

Interesting since everyone is talking up such a blockbuster holiday season. There a bunch of backups as noted in the linked article. Since:

  1. People have been loading up on crap the whole year.
  2. 20M people may be looking at their last unemployment check in a few weeks.
  3. I noticed that Briefing.com predicts a slight increase in UI claims

I wonder if the season may bust in relation to expectations. Time will tell.

LawrenceBird
LawrenceBird

Any retailer that does not have a credible online store at this point in time probably should not be in business anymore. Even pre-pandemic it was necessary.

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

It is the perfect storm of pandemic, unemployment, uncertainty about future, and no trust in government that will drive economy lower. I really hope the vaccine works out but there is too much optimism that it will fix everything when there are many structural issues with the economy and debt.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

I think the pandemic just peanut-buttered consumption so that more shopping is done from home evenly throughout the year. Cyber Monday is a bit meaningless this year because of it.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

I participated in some shameless retail therapy.....but only online. I bought a bait-casting reel.....marked down by half....Cabela’s cyber loss leader....of course I had to get a new rod to match......also on sale, but not quite such a sweet deal. My birthday present to myself.

davebarnes2
davebarnes2

My wife is doing her best to spend [lots of] money on Christmas shopping.
Not in person, of course.
But, online.
Why go into a store only to see an empty slot where the left-handed framastaners are supposed to be when you can buy it online—from a retailer or direct from the maker?
We started our "holiday shopping" in April. Prices—for us—are not important. Quality and convenience are.

ajc1970
ajc1970

I've been waiting on deals to buy 2 new Google Pixels and a Simplisafe setup for home.

Both companies offered deals, but neither was that enticing. Pixel was basically 5% off. Simplisafe keeps extending the end date on their "best sale ever." No reason to believe they won't keep doing that or go even lower.

Will keep waiting. Doing fine without them.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

We watched this over the weekend on Netflix. It will make you think twice about purchasing anything you don't really need.

Rocky Raccoon
Rocky Raccoon

It was amateur day at Menard's on Friday. It's my favorite home improvement store by far, and on Friday you could tell there was a flood of people there who never shop in the store seeking out Black Friday deals clogging the arteries of the store like a major cardiac event set to happen...

RonJ
RonJ

Economic shutdowns are a bust. Governments don't care, however.

Pasadena Ca, has their own health authority and is keeping outdoor dining open. L.A. County has shut down outdoor dining, throughout the rest of the country without any real science to back up their order.

In L.A. County, protests are exempted. Protests happen outdoors, just as outdoor dining does.

anoop
anoop

i didn't buy anything today. not in protest or anything, just couldn't find anything that i wanted to buy.

AussiePete
AussiePete

I recently bought a new model cordless stick vacuum from an online retailer - "Normal price $599, sale price $289" A few weeks later, their ad read, "Normal price $279, sale price $229" Apparently, there's a sucker like me born every minute

FromBrussels
FromBrussels

I buy when I need(or want) something, competition is fierce, there are ALWAYS 'bargains' to be found... Sales 'events' like Black Friday and others are merely tricks of the trade HUMBUG.... for fools...

FromBrussels
FromBrussels

How much of her shopping did she return(for free), 50% ? Buying clothes, shoes etc online is MADNESS, I admit I am occasionally guilty of it too, but I shouldn't do it, I call it irresponsible consumption behaviour.....

Lance Manly
Lance Manly

Ruh Roh,

"Roughly 186 million shoppers purchased something online or in-store from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, down from 190 million a year ago, the National Retail Federation said Tuesday. Shoppers spent an average of $312, a 14 percent drop from $362 in 2019.

The industry group attributed those declines in Black Friday sales to a flurry of early holiday deals that retailers began rolling out in October. But analysts said a number of economic uncertainties, combined with high unemployment and rising coronavirus case rates, have put a damper on consumer spending during the all-important shopping period."


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