Brick and mortar stores kickoff holiday shopping season

Global Business

Brick and mortar stores kickoff holiday shopping season

Stores across the country slash prices on goods for the annual sales extravaganza known as Black Friday. But a recent survey suggests the day is not as important as it once was for retailers.
CGTN’s Dan Williams reports.
Follow Dan Williams on Twitter @Danielclearcut

Gearing up for the mega sales event of the year as shops across the United States prepare for Black Friday. Months of preparation and strategy have been invested to ensure stores take as much of the retail pie as possible.

“This is our Superbowl,” said Kohl’s Store Manager Bryan Groh. “This is the day. This is our busiest sales day of the entire year. This is what we have been gearing up for.”

But has Black Friday lost its retail significance. A recent survey by PwC revealed only 35 percent of consumers who plan to shop during the week of Thanksgiving say they will do so on Black Friday It was 51 percent last year.

And then there has been the watering down effect of the actual day with retailers also promoting ‘small business Saturday’ as well as ‘Cyber Monday.’

“It is not necessarily as determinately as it once was,” said Illinois Retail Merchants Association President Rob Karr. “Whereas in this is the day but it still continues to be extremely important. A recent survey by the national retail federation, 69 percent of individuals will shop and start with their holiday shopping over this weekend. As apposed to just the day. It is still clearly has some special meaning and special emphasis.”

Despite predictions of Black Friday’s demise, some 167 million people are expected to shop on the day in the U.S. A big turnout could prompt a repeat of some of the frantic images of shoppers rushing into stores to get their hands on sale items

It would appear that for most U.S. retailers, Black Friday continues to hold crucial significance. But it’s not just the on-day sales volume that’s important. With the key holiday retail period to follow, Black Friday provides key data for the month ahead.

“Well it is an important day for retailers because they get a sense if retailers are going to come out at all. And what they are interested in,” said Loyola Univ. Marketing Professor Mary Ann McGrath. “It is almost too late to re-order things. They’ve already made some big bets. They know what they have in their inventory. And once you start cutting prices, it is a race to the bottom. For some stores this is it.”

Traditional retailers are increasingly under pressure following the rise of online shopping. But a successful Black Friday could go a long way to providing some all-important festive cheer.