Shoppers returned to physical stores and shopping centers on Black Friday even as they continued to set new records online.
In-store traffic edged up 2.9% on Black Friday (November 25) compared to last year, according to preliminary data from Sensormatic Solutions. Non-mall traffic (includes lifestyle centers, strip centers and standalone stores) increased 4.7% compared to Black Friday 2021. Traffic to enclosed malls inched up 1.2%.
“As we expected, Black Friday deals and the in-store experience attracted shoppers, resulting in a solid turnout this year,” said Brian Field, global leader of retail consulting and analytics at Sensormatic Solutions. “The pandemic-driven trend of shopping in unenclosed shopping centers has endured and malls are seeing resurgence as well. Our data shows consumers continue to enjoy the benefits of brick-and-mortar shopping.”
The 10 busiest holiday shopping days are likely to account for approximately 40% of all holiday retail traffic, according to Sensormatic. With Christmas falling on a Sunday this year, the company expects holiday traffic to be distributed differently than in recent years. While this deviation is unlikely to affect overall volume, retailers may need to adjust their approach to account for an earlier Super Saturday than usual.
“The last time Christmas fell on a Sunday was back in 2016,” Field said. “That means historical data will be crucial to retailers as we head into December. Retailers with robust analytics in place will find themselves at an advantage throughout the rest of the holiday season. Examining what worked (or didn’t) will help them design promotions, staff their stores, and keep track of inventory in the final weeks of 2022.”
The challenge may be compounded by the uptick in customers planning to shop in person this year compared to 2020 and 2021. Sensormatic’s consumer sentiment found that over half (51%) of shoppers surveyed intend to do at least some of their shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.
The same survey revealed that price, availability, and convenience would be top of mind for shoppers and that 52% of respondents planned to start shopping before November.
The National Retail Federation predicted that holiday sales during November and December will grow between 6% and 8% over 202 to between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion.
Sensomatic’s full list of predicted busiest shopping days in the U.S. is below:
- Friday, November 25 – Black Friday
- Friday, December 23 – Friday before Christmas
- Monday, December 26 – Day after Christmas, aka “Boxing Day”
- Saturday, December 17 – Super Saturday
- Saturday, November 26 – Saturday after Black Friday
- Saturday, December 10 – Second Saturday in December
- Thursday, December 22 – Thursday before Christmas
- Saturday, December 3 – First Saturday in December
- Sunday, December 18 – Sunday before Christmas
- Wednesday, December 21 – Wednesday before Christmas