Kearney Leaderboard

Retail stores see big crowds on Black Friday

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ICSC study reveals store traffic was higher than last year.

NEW YORK —Black Friday lived up to its reputation as the busiest shopping day of the year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, which estimates that about 151 million people visited a mall or shopping center over the weekend.

“Black Friday kicked the holiday shopping season into high gear, driven by positive consumer sentiment and great deals from retailers,” said ICSC president and chief executive officer Tom McGee said in a statement. “More shoppers visited their local mall or shopping center this year than last year, proving again that this holiday season is going to be strong and that consumers want to spend money on gifts for family and friends.”

The ICSC’s estimate of Black Friday traffic was based on an online survey conducted on Saturday, November 24. The survey, conducted by Engine Insights on behalf of ICSC, polled a a demographically representative sample of 1,007 U.S. adults.

The survey found that omnichannel retailers — those with both a physical and an online presence — were the preferred destination for holiday shoppers, capturing 88% of spending on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.

Among those consumers who used click-and-collect services (27% of Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday shoppers), 64% made an additional in-store purchase. The Halo Effect will also be a major influence this Cyber Monday, as 80% of shoppers surveyed say they plan to purchase from omnichannel brands.

“Retailers are investing heavily in both in-store and online channels, and consumers are the ultimate beneficiary,” McGee said. “When consumers think of Thanksgiving Weekend and Cyber Monday, they think of big brands and great deals, and an omnichannel experience offers the best of both worlds. To capitalize on this, retailers have been investing in their store network and so far the results have been impressive.”

Walmart U.S. chief merchandising officer Steve Bratspies said in a statement that Walmart was pleased with the traffic in its stores on Black Friday.

“Black Friday is still the best shopping day of the year, and this year was no exception for Walmart,” Bratspies said. “Traffic was steady all night long in stores across the country as customers took advantage of our great deals. And because our approach to inventory was to buy deep on many of the hottest items, we had more items available at the best prices. Phones, toys, gaming consoles, cookware and TVs were some of the most popular items for customers both in store and online.”


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