Black Friday is very popular among shoppers, but it is slowly and gradually losing its appeal and there are good reasons for it. For instance, larger numbers of retailers are now offering discounts and bargains throughout the holiday shopping season, and there is an ongoing shift to online shopping.
Why is Black Friday losing its charm?
Bankrate, which conducted a new nationwide survey, claims that only 23% of all U.S. adults plan to shop in stores on the day after Thanksgiving, down from 28% when consumers were last polled in 2014.
There is no longer a feeling of urgency among customers to wake up early and battle the post-Thanksgiving crowds, said retail experts. Many of the deals available to them on that day can be found anytime in the run-up to Christmas, notes Bankrate.
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Shelley Kohan, vice president of retail consulting at an in-store analytics firm named RetailNext, said, “Two years ago, Black Friday was one day. Last year it was a weeklong event. This year it’s been a month-long event. A lot of Black Friday deals are already out there. They’ve been out there since the beginning of the month.”
Along with waning interest in Black Friday, RetailNext projects that the Friday after Thanksgiving this year will be neither the biggest shopping day of the season in terms of sales, nor the busiest in terms of shopper visits. The bottom line is that buyers who do not like to face the crowds and chaos that come with Black Friday shopping will not miss anything.
Noelle Nelson, assistant professor of marketing and consumer behavior at the University of Kansas’ School of Business, said, “I think people who don’t like doing it should stay home. They can get good deals (throughout the season), and they’ll also avoid impulse purchases.”
Retailers expect sales to increase
Even though fewer buyers will head to the stores, it does not mean Black Friday is going to be a bust. According to data compiled by the accounting firm BDO USA, retailers expect an increase of 2.6% in Black Friday sales over 2015. This is slightly less growth than the projections for the entire season, notes Bankrate. The BDO survey of retail chief marketing officers reveals an expected increase of 4.7% in holiday sales overall.
Also larger numbers of Americans say that they plan to shop online rather than in stores on Black Friday, says Bankrate. The Bankrate survey also found that buyers plan to spend more on Black Friday than before.