Why Consumer Spending Dropped During Black Friday

Consumers spending dropped during Black Friday weekend sales in comparison to the numbers that we saw last year. According to the National Retail Federation’s Thanksgiving weekend spending survey 55.1% of holiday shoppers were expected to visit stores or go online to make their purchases, down from 58.7% last year.

The decline can be attributed to an improving economy as well as changing shopping habits. Consumers are no longer relying on deep discounts and early promotions and are instead to make their much needed purchases online. This blog post examines the 4 main reason why Black Friday sales are dropping in detail:

1. Loss of Magic

Officially, Black Friday does not start until after Thanksgiving Day. This year, many retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy started to unveil deep discounts as early as Halloween weekend. This gave shoppers almost a month to shop around and make informed decisions without having to shop on the whim on the official day(s).

2. Loss of Urgency

Since many retailers started early this year, there was no sense of urgency to be the first in line. There were still lines, but the frenzied anticipation of the best deals was not there. And even if consumers did not get what they wanted, they still have between now and January to redeem their gift cards and make their purchases.

3. Shopper Fatigue

Many businesses would beg to disagree on that. The moment that the new iPhone or new iPad comes out, people stand in line for days to get their hands on it. Unfortunately with holiday deals and sales, consumers aren’t noticing any big must-have products that they want like with Apple products. And with the improving economy, most people opt to pay more rather than stand in line in the cold for hours.

4. Online Shopping Boom

The shift from brick and mortar to online shopping increased this year. Target reported that its website saw a 40% increase in sales on Thanksgiving, making its biggest online sales day ever. Wal-Mart said Thanksgiving was its second-highest online day ever, only surpassed by Cyber Monday last year.

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