Have Retailers Killed Off Black Friday?
Black Friday is not the big deal it used to be. That’s according to new research, which finds a dwindling percentage of Americans plan to shop on the day that traditionally starts the Christmas selling season. This year, only 35 percent of shoppers who plan to shop during Thanksgiving week will do so on Black Friday, according to research from PwC. That’s down considerable from 51 percent last year and 59 percent in 2015. “Black Friday has lost its significance,” Steven Barr, consumer markets leader for PwC, told The Washington Post. “Retailers have conditioned the consumer to believe everything’s on sale every day, which means the deals on Black Friday are not significantly different from any other time.” Promotional deals for Christmas, once reserved for Black Friday, have been pushed earlier in recent years with many merchants running sales to kick off Thanksgiving week. The decision by retailers to open store doors on Thanksgiving has led many consumers to head to the mall not long after the turkey is eaten, cutting into Black Friday traffic. Instead of looking to drive customers into stores ahead of Black Friday, Burlington, Costco, Home Depot, IKEA and Office Depot and others will remain closed on Thanksgiving. REI, one of over 50 retailers that will again close on Thanksgiving, according to BestBlackFriday.com, has created buzz around its business in recent years by also giving thousands of its workers Black Friday off with pay, as well. The competition for consumer deals is likely to be as intense as ever this year with numerous firms and organizations projecting solid year-over-year retail sales growth for Christmas. Read more at Retail Week.