Omicron and inflation didn’t stop shoppers on Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Holiday shoppers flocked to stores over Black Friday weekend, a sign that consumers are eager to return to in-person shopping – despite higher prices, lower discounts and a new variant of Covid-19 – industry analysts said.

Nearly 180 million shoppers spent an average of $ 301 over the weekend of Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, according to an annual survey released Tuesday by the National Retail Federation, or NRF, a trade group, and the data analysis company Prosper Insights & Analytics.

About 105 million shoppers visited the stores over the weekend, up from just 92 million last year. The number of online shoppers has declined to around 128 million from 145 million last year.

“We all appreciate the tradition of enjoying things in person and in-store shopping as a token kickoff to the holiday season – and [shoppers] missed that in many cases over the past year, ”Matthew Shay, NRF chief executive officer, told reporters on a briefing call Tuesday.

“There is general fatigue,” he said. “People are tired of doing things remotely and live and doing things virtually. They would love to be together to do these things in person. “

People are tired of doing things remotely and virtually. They would love to be together to do these things in person.

About 46% of U.S. consumers shopped online over the weekend, according to the NRF. About 44% of people shopped at department stores, 39% at grocery stores, 32% at clothing stores, 28% at electronics stores and 26% at discount stores, the group reported.

Traffic skyrocketed over the weekend at beauty stores Ulta and Sephora, according to location analytics company Placer.Ai. Ulta’s pedestrian traffic is up 42% from last year, and Sephora’s by about 98%, he said. Shoppers returned to discount stores, including TJ Maxx and Ross, whose traffic grew by more than 30%.

More people shopped at malls this year compared to last year, but malls are still losing foot traffic compared to 2019, according to Placer. Visits to indoor shopping malls increased 83% from a year ago, but were down around 9% from 2019, according to the company’s first shopping mall traffic data.

A customer purchases shoes from the Nike Factory Store in Outlet Shoppes in El Paso, Texas on Friday. Paul Ratje / AFP – Getty Images

Digital sales from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber ​​Monday generated $ 33.9 billion in online spending, down 1.4% from last year, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index. Black Friday online sales fell to $ 8.9 billion from $ 9 billion, and Thanksgiving Day sales were flat from a year ago at $ 5.1 billion.

“Consumers buy sooner, and they buy sooner,” said Patrick Brown, vice president of growth marketing and knowledge at Adobe. “So we believe this is because consumers have heeded the warnings about failures.”

Throughout November, consumers spent $ 109.8 billion online, an increase of about 12% from last year, according to Adobe. According to Adobe, the peak holiday shopping season is expected to reach $ 207 billion, a 10% increase from last year.

While supply chain challenges have grabbed the headlines in recent weeks, around 70% of consumers polled by NRF said they were confident they would find the products and supplies they had. need. They added that while they might not find their top picks in products, they will find alternative products.

“The supply chain is a bit of a stretch. … there are still things [shoppers] can get it, ”said Greg Maloney, president and chief retailer of commercial real estate services company JLL. “They don’t rush to get something unless it’s a hot toy or some electronic device or something like that, but beyond that it’s not a big deal for a lot of people.”

However, out of stock messages are still common. Out-of-stock messages increased 8% on Cyber ​​Monday compared to the previous week. Through November, out-of-stock messages were up 169% from pre-pandemic levels, according to Adobe.

The average selling price over the Black Friday weekend is up 11% from last year.

A mix of supply chain slowdowns from a pandemic and increased consumer demand for goods has led retailers to cut promotions during the holiday shopping season. The average selling price over the Black Friday weekend is up 11% from a year ago, and the average discount is down 26%, according to Salesforce. Partly due to declining promotions and price inflation, shopping cart totals increased even as transaction totals decreased. Retail brands averaged 8% fewer purchases this Black Friday compared to last year, according to buyer analytics firm Bluecore.

According to Adobe, more and more shoppers are turning to new installment payment services to manage their more expensive holiday shopping carts. Buy now, pay later services saw a 21% increase in revenue from last year on Cyber ​​Monday, with orders up about 1%.

MK England, a customer from Scottsville, Va., Said she started holiday shopping in October because of concerns about shipping delays and product shortages.

“I’ve done a lot more in-person purchases this year so shipping hasn’t been a big deal,” she said. “There is only one thing that I ordered that I’m not sure will arrive on time. “

During the pandemic, she did the majority of her purchases online. But this holiday season, she’s looking to support local brick and mortar businesses.

“I hate crowds, but this year with everything going on, I thought it was safer to get certain things in person,” she said. “And with the effects of the pandemic, I wanted to support local businesses even more. “

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