Is Black Friday Shopping A Thing Of The Past?

According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales this season are expected to reach at least $942 billion, up 6% from last year. But with online shopping and earlier sales, does Black Friday still hold the same power in holiday shopping as it has in the past?

Kristen Gall, president of cash-back app Rakuten Rewards, says Black Friday is “not dead” but instead “it’s changing a lot.”

“Very few of us are willing to go into stores on Black Friday and fight people and use our elbows,” Gall said.

The National Retail Federation estimates that 115 million people plan to shop in stores and online this year on the traditional day of discount shopping, which falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving. And an estimated 64 million people are expected to shop on Cyber ​​Monday.

But some retailers are starting their sales weeks earlier this year, which Gall said also contributes to the changing climate of Black Friday.

“Retailers are willing to allow us to shop for longer,” Gall said.

Excess inventory left over from the pandemic is also driving those holiday sales. Gall said she sees bargains being “more aggressive than ever” this upcoming Black Friday.

They said there is no space in their godowns. “They’re going to lower prices on everything.”

But others, such as Eric Artz, CEO and president of outdoor gear and clothing store REI, say that for them Black Friday is actually dying. In 2015 the company began withdrawing from Black Friday when it closed its doors on the traditional shopping day. This year, REI announced that the move would be permanent.

Artz said business at REI has “flourished” since then.

“Including Black Friday actions, we posted a record year in both sales and profits,” he added. “It’s a testament to the fact that putting a purpose in your people first, putting it ahead of your profits, [that] Profits will come in due time.”

Stores like Target, Macy’s and Walmart have followed suit in recent years by closing on Thanksgiving Day. But major retailers still promote deals for Black Friday, keeping the tradition alive.

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