Analysis: Black Friday did not disappoint 

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Analysis: Black Friday did not disappoint 

By Marshall Cohen - 12/02/2019
female holiday shopper

Black Friday showed up this year, but it was clearly different – and it needs to be measured differently. 

Some will talk about how Black Friday fell short. But did it? Add in all the selling that was done as early as Nov. 1 (and even some before that) as part of the Black Friday promotions, and Black Friday didn’t disappoint.  

It didn’t disappoint the consumers either. Deals and doorbusters were plentiful with items worthy of waiting for, or even buying on impulse.

  • The big tech winners were TVs, headphones, and smartphones. It seems like the new holiday gift schedule has smartphone upgrades right in time for holiday gifting.
  • The popular toy items were LOL surprise (no surprise there). Also, Frozen was “hot.”
  • Home is the new growth area for holiday with more attention on small appliances this year, going beyond the heavily promoted “everywhere” Instant Pot. Floor care got a lot of attention too, demonstrating that practical gifts ruled.
  • Fashion fared well in the areas of cold weather products and deep discounts. Some retailers even offered 60% off fashion – an aggressive move this early in the holiday.

Store traffic didn’t disappoint in the early hours, both on Thanksgiving night for those that opened Thursday, and Black Friday morning. But those early promotions took their toll on what normally is a huge Saturday of shopping, leaving Black Saturday looking a little gray. Online also stole some business from stores, as e-commerce fared well.

All in all, Black Friday set the stage for a good start to the holiday season. Black Friday 2019 didn’t disappoint.

Marshall Cohen is chief industry advisor, The NPD Group

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