This year’s Black Friday appears to be different for retailers.
Black Friday has historically been one of the busiest shopping days in the United States. Last year, however, the COVID-19 pandemic and virus worries altered the nature of the traditionally busy shopping weekend, with the majority of Black Friday purchases being made online.
By 2021, the situation has changed dramatically, with public health restrictions loosened and over 73 percent of the eligible US population having gotten at least one dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine. Despite this, this year retailers may still not see the mad dash for goods on Black Friday. Profits, on the other hand, could be substantial.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), a trade group for US retailers, sales in November and December are predicted to increase by 8.5 percent to 10.5 percent over the previous year, reaching $843.4 billion to $859 billion.
The NRF estimates that internet merchants will see an increase of 11 to 15% over previous year.
Strong sales projections do not, however, imply that Black Friday will return to its former glory.
According to Daniel North, a senior economist at Euler Hermes North America, the holiday shopping season has migrated away from its traditional start on Black Friday, starting considerably earlier and lasting long until Christmas.
“Shoppers are starting earlier and spreading out their purchases throughout the season,” North told the International Business Times. “The holiday shopping season now begins on November 1st, according to several businesses, and ‘oops, honey, I forgot’ holiday purchases now extend into January.” In recent years, consumers have shifted their buying habits to include internet transactions. However, according to an estimate from Adobe Analytics, the time between Black Friday and Cyber Monday may only account for 17 percent of all predicted web sales this holiday season.
The COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc on the retail industry, despite the fact that it is no longer shutting down stores like it was last year. Throughout 2021, the United States has struggled with high inflation, owing in part to supply chain issues overseas, which have driven up prices and left retailers rushing to keep their shelves supplied in time for the holidays.
Most of the year’s inflationary pressures may be traced to these disruptions, according to NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz, who also warns that they remain the biggest danger to robust holiday sales.
“Inventories may rise as a result of buyers’ desire to shop early. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.