Black Friday is dead

Amazon

Black Friday is dead.

Gone are the days when you and thousands of your closest friends spend a freezing evening in a Walmart parking lot just to get your hands on a cheap flat screen television.

Sure, some gleeful idiots still enjoy the anarchy that goes hand in hand with bashing in a big box store’s front doors at 3 a.m. But the idea of Black Friday as a make-or-break event for retail sales is now extinct.

Don’t let the upbeat headlines fool you. While more than 150 million people braved the crowds on Black Friday last week, consumers didn’t spend as much as they did last year.

As it turns out, shoppers weren’t interested in regularly priced items. This year it was extreme discounts— or bust.

According to the National Retail Federation, 36% of shoppers said all of their buys were sale items. This exclusive purchase of deeply discounted items increased more than threefold from last year, Bloomberg notes, “setting an ominous tone for the rest of the holiday season— retailers’ biggest sales period of the year.”

Screen Shot 2016 11 30 at 8.14.37 AMAmazon

The data is clear: it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get customers out to stores on Black Friday.

While the brick and mortar retailers resort to extreme discounts to lure shoppers out of their homes on the holiest of retail holidays, the throngs of pajama-clad cyber shoppers continue to grow at breakneck speed.

“The NRF data shows more than 108 million people shopped online over the weekend, about 5 million more than last year,” CNN Money reports. “Meanwhile, 99 million people said they shopped in stores, down 3 million from last year.”

The tables have finally turned. Online shopping is quickly overtaking the brink and mortar “experience”. Think about it. Would you rather wade through crowds of cranky shoppers? Or click away your paycheck at your laptop while you sip your morning coffee?

For me, it’s a no-brainer. And I’m not the only one…

Early Cyber Monday numbers suggest sales will top $3.3 billion. Keep in mind, it’s not even fair to categorize Cyber Monday as an actual event. Sure, there are some exclusive online deals available to consumers early this week. But online shopping is more of a constant reality than a one-day splurge.

According to Fortune, 26 out of 27 days this holiday season have generated a staggering $1 billion. That’s already a 7% annual increase so far this year…

But all is not lost for the retail sector.

Remember, no one is expecting much from retail right now. After enduring a tough year, expectations for these stocks are extremely low.

Despite the media’s obsession with Black Friday stats, retail stocks are quietly putting in a heck of a quarter. These stocks are already topping estimates. In fact, almost 40% of retailers in the S&P 500 beat revenue expectations, and total revenue for the sector is expected to see an increase of almost 6%.

When it comes to retail, Amazon is still top dog. Surprising no one, the king of e-tail just had its best Cyber Monday in history.

But the old school retailers who have optimized their web experiences are also enjoying a nice little holiday bump. WalMart just announced that purchases on its app jumped 150% this year. That’s huge.

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