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Kantar Retail: Black Friday diluted as promotional activity timeline expands


Boston - A new study shows just how diluted Black Friday has become to holiday shoppers: Twenty-eight percent of shoppers shopped in stores Nov. 22/Nov. 23 and 34% of shoppers chose to shop in stores the weekend after Black Friday (Nov. 29/Nov. 30), while 25% shopped on Black Friday, according to Kantar Retail.

In other results, 65% of shoppers surveyed chose not to shop because of crowds while 42% stayed out of stores to avoid traffic.

"Retailers have directly addressed these concerns by encouraging shoppers to shift which day around Thanksgiving they choose to shop," said Robin Sherk, director Retail Insights and contributor to the study. "This expanded promotional activity explains why so many shopped on days around the event and also explains why about one in five of those who chose not to shop Black Friday did so because they did not find the Black Friday-specific deals exciting, believing there are comparable deals on other days."

But the popularity of the weekend before Black Friday shopping in stores has not yet translated online. Additional study findings reveal that Cyber Monday remains the most popular day around Thanksgiving for shopping online with 37% of shoppers planning to shop on this day. "As more deals—and crowds—shift to the weekend before Thanksgiving, Kantar Retail expects that online-only holiday deals will likewise start to gain shoppers’ attention the weekend before Black Friday," Sherk notes.

According to shoppers surveyed, Walmart and Amazon offered the "most exciting" Black Friday sales while about one in five Black Friday shoppers didn’t find any of the leading national Mass, Club, Department, Home Improvement, Specialty, or Apparel retailers’ offers particularly exciting.

An examination of Black Friday promotions this year reveals several emerging trends as retailers seek to generate deeper excitement for their offers.

"Holiday promotional themes most compelling this season are those designed to build relevance with more targeted holiday offers for core shoppers and those that elevate the excitement of Grey Thursday/Black Friday beyond specific sale items," Sherk said, notes. "And, we’re seeing retailers doing more to connect deals with in-store services and link sales directly to helping others."

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