So… was Black Friday 2021 a success?
Here is a breakdown:
1 2021 Black Friday sales were robust with consumers really interested in and able to spend
◊ US shoppers spent 14% more on merchandise ex auto from Nov 26 to 28, vs same holiday weekend last year. [Source: MasterCard SpendingPulse, calculates U.S. retail sales across all payment methods)
2 Holiday Sales have been pulled earlier and smoothed across a longer timeframe as retailers kicked off season sooner and consumers are buying early to avoid missing popular items due to supply chain disruptions. Buying earlier can = buying more
◊ November had a record 18 days with sales over $3 billion! Black Friday is still major online shopping day, and surge coming from less marketed days of season. [Adobe Digital Insights]
3 Brick and mortar sales grew, driven by consumers COVID fatigue (want to get out!) and Retailer push
◊ Store traffic rose 61% this Black Friday vs 2020 but still down 27% from 2019 [RetailNext, tracks shopper counts]
4 Digital sales were very strong, being flat to slightly up vs 2020’s record high
◊ Online spend grew 5% over 3-day period vs same time 2020, and by 28.7% vs 2019 [MasterCard SpendingPulse]
◊ Black Friday Online sales of $8.9B fell just short of last year’s record $9.03B but were up 19.8% vs $7.43B in 2019 [Adobe]
5 Larger Retailers took share from smaller as they managed supply chains and inventory better. However, smaller merchants had higher order value.
◊ Many large retailers e.g., Walmart and Target brought in inventory ahead of the holidays; Some smaller chains, e.g., Gap and Victoria’s Secret are scrambling to keep shelves stocked.
6 Stockouts were an issue with supply chain challenges
◊ Number of items offered on retail sites shrunk by 6% [Salesforce]
◊ 124% increase in out-of-stock messages in November through Black Friday vs Jan 2020. Categories most challenged: appliances, electronics, housekeeping supplies and home & garden. [Adobe]
7 Prices were higher and discounts lower as retailers reworked financials
◊ Average selling price in 5-days from Tuesday through Sunday was up 13% and average discount on retail websites was 26% on Black Friday, down 9% vs 2020. [Salesforce]
8 What's next?
◊ National Retail Federation expects U.S. retail sales in November and December to rise by a record 8.5% to 10.5% from 2020 to $859B (avg growth in past 5 years is 4.4%).
◊ Note: this may change with new COVID strain triggering worries.
So, overall Black Friday sales (through Cyber Monday) have done well!
Hopefully the new COVID variant is contained to allow for a healthy full holiday season.
Articles referenced: Black Friday Brought Shoppers Back to Stores - WSJ