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Early Black Friday Sales: Are They Resonating With Shoppers?

The data's divided.
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Francis Scialabba

· less than 3 min read

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Retailers from Kohl’s to Lowe’s have turned 24-hour holiday sales events into months-long marathons in Covid-19’s wake. But are consumers synching their shopping calendars with brands’ new schedules?

Yes and no. A late Prime Day jumpstarted October spending, but surges weren’t equally spread across IRL and online retail. According to Deloitte data shared with Retail Brew...

  • The cluster of retail promotions from October 11 to October 17 increased online sales by 50% YoY. In the first week of October, sales had increased 25%.
  • But spending only increased 6% during the period when in-store and online sales were combined.

The brands’ eye view: Deloitte noted that sales over the first three weeks of October were highest among traditional big box stores and online-only merchants, increasing between 10% and 30%.

No matter the channel, most shoppers are skeptical of Black Friday szn. Across large retailers, more than half of shoppers aren’t taking advantage of early deals, per CivicScience.

  • Off-price fashion retailers had a slight edge over everything emporiums like Walmart and Amazon.

Francis Scialabba

My takeaway: Black Friday in October is like a PSL in August—the most devoted fans are on board, but the average shopper thinks it’s a little premature.

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