News Feature | November 27, 2017

Deloitte Predicts Healthy Black Friday Sales, Both Online And In Stores

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Mens Clothing Trending Up

Survey finds 75 percent of Americans plan to shop over the holiday weekend.

This year finds consumer confidence on the rise and a desire to increase holiday gift spending. That means that retailers will have plenty to be thankful for this holiday, according to a new survey from  Deloitte, with 75 percent of Americans planning to shop over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The survey polled more than 1,200 consumers. And while ecommerce is projected to take a larger share of shoppers’ budgets, the outlook for brick-and-mortar store traffic is still healthy as well, particularly  for Black Friday.

An earlier prediction from RetailMeNot also anticipated that consumer spending over the Black Friday weekend would increase 47 percent over 2016 levels, with consumers poised to spend an average of $743 this year. The shopping season also is poised to be an early and relatively long one, with nearly 45 percent of shoppers starting their holiday buying before November 1. And sales began an average of 5 days prior to Thanksgiving, in an effort by retailers to entice shoppers.

For the Black Friday season this year, the Deloitte survey found:

  • Bullish Budgets: Shoppers will spend an average of $427 between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, up from $400 in 2016. Shoppers expect to spend the majority (52 percent) of their holiday weekend budget online and 46 percent in physical stores.
  • Strong Turnout All Weekend: On Thanksgiving Day, more people will shop online (28 percent) than in-stores (25 percent). Saturday, more than half (52 percent) plan to shop in-store, compared with roughly one-quarter (24 percent) online. On Cyber Monday, almost three-quarters (72 percent) plan to shop online. The survey also found a focus on local businesses through Saturday.
  • Starting Early: Shoppers who get an early start on Black Friday will outspend others, as those shopping between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. plan to spend an average of $225. Those shopping at 6 a.m. expect to spend $147, followed by $161 between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.
  • Department Stores Draw Shoppers: Traditional department stores are the No.1 physical store destination for the weekend, with more than half (51 percent) of surveyed shoppers planning to visit them. Other top physical shopping destinations are mass merchants (39 percent) and electronics/office supply/computer stores (38 percent).
  • Blending Channels: Regardless of where people shop, nearly 4 in 10 (38 percent) expect to buy something online while in-store due to better pricing and/or price matching, and more than one-third (36 percent) say they’ll be influenced by deals from a mobile device while in-store over Thanksgiving weekend.
  • Key Categories: Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of surveyed consumers plan to buy clothing and accessories over the weekend, while other top draws include electronics (55 percent) and toys and hobby items (47 percent).

"Consumers are gearing up to increase spending, and while online is expected to pull more of shoppers' budgets, there is still a healthy outlook for traffic in the stores, particularly on Black Friday," said Rod Sides, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and U.S. retail, wholesale and distribution leader.

"Store retailers will have shoppers' attention with the overall excitement of the day and tradition of shopping with friends and family. That's a tremendous opportunity to elevate the customer experience and create a strong rapport to drive sales. It starts with the digital part of the shopping journey, delivering creative and personalized promotions and touchpoints that create inspiration before the holiday weekend. That follows with an in-store experience that delights with displays, merchandise and seasonal atmosphere, along with services that make it easy for customers to find unique items and make quick transactions."