Black Friday has become almost another holiday for consumers – and a challenge for marketers. After two years shopping online, people were ready to go back to the stores.
The day after Thanksgiving saw millions of American consumers hit the stores and malls. In pre-pandemic years it was wild with crowds of shoppers piled into big box stores and malls for doorbuster promotions. But fewer people were out shopping early this year. Probably because retailers were offering Black Friday (early) deals in October to entice earlier holiday purchases (and lighten excess inventory).
Sales at brick-and-mortar stores grew roughly 18%; online purchases were up nearly 4%. Cyber Monday was definitely the biggest shopping day online with sales of $11.3 billion, an increase of 5.8% from 2021.
According to the National Retail Federation shopping survey, top gift categories are clothing, gift cards, and toys. But the national economy has an impact on spending, with most households planning to buy fewer gifts this year.
Some additional shopping highlights:
- Shoppers spent an average of $325.44 on holiday purchases.
- Overall shopping increased 8% from 2021.
- Roughly 197 million shoppers visited stores or bought online between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
- Traffic in physical stores increased 17% from 2021.
- Online spending reached more than $9 billion on Black Friday.
- Online shoppers increased only 2.3% from 2021.
Despite inflation fears, we still like to give gifts.
What did you buy?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss the changes in U.S. consumers’ shopping habits now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted.
- Poll students: What new shopping habits have the students formed?
- Where do they shop? Why? Online and in person?
- Show WSJ’s photos/article about the changes in store for Black Friday shopping: https://www.wsj.com/story/black-friday-is-back-with-smaller-crowds-5e22045b?mod=Searchresults_pos7&page=1
- Poll students about their shopping over Thanksgiving Week – Cyber Monday.
- Divide students into teams.
- In teams, have students tally how much they spent, which products were sought after, etc. See which teams are the biggest spenders.
- Have each team design a holiday sales promotion for a company of their choosing.
Source: Nassauer, S. (29 November 2022). Black Friday weekend drew millions of shoppers back to stores. Wall Street Journal.: WSJ Staff (25 November 2022). Black Friday is back, with smaller crowds. Wall Street Journal.