Some 62.8 million shoppers are expected to take advantage of dealsto cap off a holiday weekend that failed to see brick-and-mortar traffic reach pre-pandemic levels, according to projections.
The National Retail Federation expected a total of 158.3 million people to hit stores this year, up slightly from last year’s pandemic-dented shopping weekend but still.
“We’re expecting another record-breaking holiday season this year and Thanksgiving weekend will play a major role as it always has,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said earlier this month.
However, the importance of the Black Friday weekend for retailers has become increasingly muted in recent years, as companies roll out deals earlier in November and let customers space out their shopping.
Amid this year’s roiled supply chain, that was even more so the case as shoppers sought to order early and avoid any delays, Shay said.
“Black Friday stopped being a one-day event years ago, and this year some consumers started shopping for Christmas as early as Halloween.”
Amid the shift toward online spending, foot traffic at brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday fell 28.3 percent from pre-pandemic levels, CNBC reported, citing.
Compared with the same time last year, during the depths of the pandemic, traffic jumped more than 47 percent, CNBC reported.
At the same time, online Black Friday sales fell to $8.9 billion, down from thespent online on the same day a year ago, CNBC added, citing data from Adobe Analytics.
It was the first time ever that online sales for the day fell compared with a year earlier, Adobe said.
“Shoppers are being strategic in their gift shopping, buying much earlier in the season and being flexible about when they shop to make sure they get the best deals,” said Vivek Pandya, a lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, according to CNBC.
Adobe expects e-commerce sales on Cyber Monday to be between $10.2 billion and $11.3 billion, CNBC reported, though out-of-stock messages on companies’ websites were up 124 percent through Friday compared with pre-pandemic levels, which could throw a wrench in the shopping season.
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