Peter Mazzella ’22
One of the most infamous shopping days of the year, Black Friday, causes shoppers to camp outside of stores, rain or shine, to take advantage of door buster deals. With apparent success this year, as seen by a 12.5 percent increase in transactions in the UK from 2018, it certainly has become one of the largest shopping days of the year worldwide.
This year in America, the average spending on this holiday was expected to drop by almost $3 billion, which had retailers concerned. The decrease in expected shopping is something that is abnormal for the holiday, contrary to the usual spike in expected sales. This brought more incentives to customers who tried to account for the anticipated loss of revenue for brick and mortar businesses that have been left in the dust since Amazon’s inception.
Regarding the nature of Black Friday sales, Nicole Rohde, a PR manager, speaks on the impact it has had on her company Maxwell-Scott, saying, “Black Friday 2019 has been incredibly successful for us as we managed to hit our monthly revenue target in just one day! For our UK website, we are 300 percent ahead in revenue compared to last year’s event.” Shoppers on Black Friday are not the only ones benefiting. Businesses with unsold inventory have the opportunity to capitalize on incentivized shopping during the holiday season.
The United States is not the only country to coin on this shopping holiday. The United Kingdom started to see an increase in foot traffic on the day following Thanksgiving dating back to 2013 and has been upwardly trending since. In 2018, the UK recorded 1.23 billion euros in online Black Friday retail sales, which equates to around $1.36 billion. These numbers are shadowed by the astronomical numbers that online shopping pulled in on the holiday. The UK’s Black Friday spending has only increased since then, with a 14 percent to $7.2 billion on Friday and $4.1 billion on Thanksgiving day.
These numbers indicate doomsday for retailers, where online platforms such as Amazon and Apple dominate the majority of online sales. With their ability to outshine retail stores on a holiday specifically for brick and mortar businesses, this does not bode well for those who cannot adapt to the fast-changing culture of online shopping.
On Friday morning, the most social media buzz surrounded gaming platforms, primarily Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo. In the online world, it is no shock that Amazon was popular, followed by close competitors Walmart and Target, who have successfully adapted to the rapidly progressing mobile world.
While retail shopping has become more popular online and on mobile phones over the years, this is not to say that brick and mortar shops will become obsolete. This year’s sales increase of 4.2 percent does not mean all hope is lost for retail stores. For these businesses, they need to quickly adapt to the increase in technology if they want sales this holiday season.
This year’s Black Friday sales were considered a success in the industry as a whole. The online records broken on Friday indicated a future of continued sales increase, which brings a positive outlook to online retailers. Although the shopping holiday may be leaning more towards online shopping in the future, this does not mean the deals will stop.