Physical retail 'still relevant' on Black Friday

Lucy Hill
November 29, 2017

Using NRF and Adobe numbers from 2016 gives us $94 billion in digital sales and $561.8 billion at brick-and-mortar stores.

Next up is today's Cyber Monday splurge.

Adobe projected internet sales would still reach a record $5 billion by the end of the night, with online retailers forecast to rake in an additional $6.6 billion on Cyber Monday.

Still, a sharp rise in online sales brightened the overall outlook for those traditional retailers that have expanded beyond brick-and-mortar outlets, sending their shares higher in day-after-Thanksgiving trading. That said, further analysis shows that store traffic growth remained negative and was -7.59% on Black Friday. Records were broken as they processed a 976 transactions per second between 12pm and 1pm compared to last year's peak of 791 transactions per second.

Early estimates from ShopperTrak, a data analytics company that measures the number of shoppers at stores, said foot traffic "decreased less than one percent when compared to Black Friday 2016". The practice, known as showrooming, has been hard to combat. "Consumers are also becoming more savvy and efficient online shoppers". Because they are portable, smartphones allow people to look at merchandise in stores and buy at better prices online, nearly instantaneously. People increasingly know where to find the best deals and what they want to purchase, which results in less price matching behavior typically done on desktops.

Though it usually kicks off with Black Friday, in the past few years, the long-time tradition is has starting to taper off with more people choosing to stay put and do their shopping online instead of wrestling with crowds. Mobile devices also represented 33.1 percent of revenue - 24.1 percent smartphones and 9 percent tablets. They're concerned about web retailers running out of the most in-demand merchandise. Toys "R" Us recently filed Chapter 11.

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On Black Friday, the largest discounts were on computers, televisions and toys, On Tuesday, which is now referred to as Giving Tuesday, pet products and bedding and furniture are expected to have the best discounts at 22% and 13% respectively.

So what about the traditional department store?

Cyber Monday has traditionally been an especially strong day for buying online.

No actual data for Friday's brick-and-mortar business was immediately available.

In the meantime, there's plenty of busy holiday shopping days to come.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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