Each November, Black Friday is marketed as the must-have date in our consumer calendar. Particularly in the UK, the event itself can often be underwhelming, with retailers planning for a surge of customers that never comes. Despite continued popularity with ecommerce, Black Friday deals feel few and far between. As retail experts predict continued strengthening of retail sales in the coming weeks, will Black Friday win out in the end?
The current state of post-pandemic retail—alongside wider life—has left many consumers longing for a Black Friday that once was. While the typical Black Fridays spent queuing outside stores aren’t likely to make a rousing comeback, department stores are reporting a huge increase in foot traffic, whilst optimistic in predicting record sales over the late November (and Thanksgiving) weekend. In the wider picture, the economy is experiencing the closest resemblance to a boom as it possibly can. Consumers are looking to make up for lost time with families, a festive ‘revenge spend’ cited as likely to be in place.
While any surge Black Friday could provide will be much-needed, brands will still need to be wary. The combination of rising inflation and global supply chain and shipping issues mean there could be a massive knock-on effect for delivering certain products. Black Friday demand could also see more scrutiny as consumers are planning to buy earlier for the festive season, with 28% of consumers stating they’d want their Christmas shopping complete by the end of November, according to the National Retail Federation.
There’s extra emphasis on this holiday season to determine how well retail will do going forward. If we see another underwhelming Black Friday, discounting could head back to its pre-pandemic state. If not, brands will be looking at tighter inventory and much fatter profit margins.
Photo source: hellomagazine.com