E-Commerce

Black Friday sales up this year on the back of e-commerce spending

Apparel, electronics, and restaurants saw the biggest sales bumps this year.
article cover

Francis Scialabba

· less than 3 min read

Stay up to date on the retail industry

All the news and insights retail pros need to know, all in one newsletter. Join over 180,000 retail professionals by subscribing today.

Black Friday sales were up this year, but not entirely because of the stampedes of customers that are synonymous with the shopping holiday.

With inflation and fears over a looming recession, retailers leaned heavily on promotions throughout this year, and that carried over into Black Friday—both in-store and online.

US retail sales were up 12% YoY, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. In-store sales specifically increased 12%, while e-commerce sales saw a 14% YoY bump.

  • Apparel, electronics, and restaurants were the strongest categories with 19%, 4%, and 21% increases, respectively.

“With holiday promotions kicking off long before the Thanksgiving weekend, consumers have been shopping strategically for the season’s best deals,” said Michelle Meyer, North America chief economist at the Mastercard Economics Institute. "Retailers delivered on Black Friday with deals that enticed consumers to fill their carts despite the inflationary environment."

E-commerce also flexed its muscles this year, as sales reached $9.12 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. This was a record number for the day—outpacing Adobe’s expectations—and a 2.3% increase from 2021.

  • As TechCrunch notes, however, Adobe doesn’t break out volumes, so the increases can’t be pegged to neither higher-cost items nor more purchases.

Visits to shopping malls, outlets, and open-air lifestyle centers were down YoY, but outpaced average visits throughout the year.

  • Visits to indoor malls during Black Friday were up 261% compared to the daily average for the first three quarters of 2022, according to Placer.ai. Outlet malls and open-air lifestyle centers saw visits up 366% and 151%, respectively.
  • Compared to Black Friday 2021, visits were down 2.3% at indoor malls, down 3.9% at outlets, and down 0.5% at open-air lifestyle centers.

“The data serves as the latest indication of the ongoing decline of Black Friday’s centrality,” Ethan Chernofsky, VP of marketing at Placer.ai, said in a statement. “Nonetheless, the day did still drive a massive surge in visits with some retailers seeing increases of 300% or more on the average daily visits in November in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.”

Stay up to date on the retail industry

All the news and insights retail pros need to know, all in one newsletter. Join over 180,000 retail professionals by subscribing today.