Your local Kohls had lines wrapped halfway around its perimeter, patiently awaiting the flood gates to open for 2017’s Black Friday sales balderdash. Videos across social media depict yet another round of MMA-style fighting for Walmart’s last few 4K televisions. Sounds like success for the last few retail chains hopelessly fighting back an imminent online shopping takeover.
For now, the brick-and-mortar store has beaten back Godzilla, and will survive another few months.
Stores like Macy’s, JC Penney and were battered by an onslaught of turkey stuffed shopaholics who set out to collect the milieu of door buster gifts being offered. Smartphones were logging on to store wi-fi hotspots to collect even deeper savings. In fact, many retail parking lots were full before NFL’s second Thanksgiving game finished the first quarter.
A record Black Friday sales event for few. Sustainable numbers for many. Whether any of this madness will be enough to quell talk of apocalyptic conditions remains to be seen.
According to CNBC, Adobe Insights tracked an upsurge of 17% in sales from 2016, with an incredible $5.03 billion spent by the time Black Friday sales ended. While industry figures will inevitably fluctuate, industry analysts are chalking up this November’s selling frenzy as an easy victory, raising figures to heights unseen since 2011.
Kohls, for one, is filling more online orders for retail pickup than years past. CEO Kevin Mansell cites the Apple Watch, an Instant Pot and their FitBit activity trackers as biggest movers with Under Armour and Nike rounding out their top five movers.
Bargain Hunting Shoppers Boost JC Penney, Macy’s
One of few retailers to open doors at 2 p.m., JC Penney benefitted from offering bargains before Walmart and other giants. The Plano, Texas based department store – 138 stores and thousands of employees lighter than 2016 – saw an increase in Nike apparel purchases, appliances, jewelry and other departments once dominated by the nearly nonexistent Sears Holdings.
Macy’s boosted their Black Friday sales by disbursing roughly 400 Door Buster specials between three floors, many of those in women’s clothing and accessories. The retailer’s Herald Square location had around 16,000 confirmed shoppers waiting outside; by 7 a.m., the store chain had sold nearly a quarter million coats, a sales pace which could have easily amassed 1 million by noon. Not even a credit card snafu stopped strong sales from increasing for the Cincinnati-based department store.
While Walmart, Kmart and Target are yet to release sales figures, it stands to reason they’re down from years before. Televisions were the main offering at many locations, with several stores still displaying inventory right where their Black Friday sales begun. Best Buy, notorious for offering tech at ridiculous prices to those faithful shoppers braving elements before doors open, had little interesting to offer.
Black Friday Sales vs. Cyber Monday
With retailers flexing their pecuniary muscles again, it would appear fears a retail apocalypse is forthcoming is collective gibberish at best. Department stores could use an incredible finish to an abysmal 2017, one that witnessed the sale of the iconic Craftsman brand among other major retailer moves.
Lest we forget, folks, that Cyber Monday is tomorrow.
Target, Kohls and nearly every retailer with Black Friday specials will operate even bigger Cyber Monday deals in an effort to stay competitive with Amazon. Servers will freeze, credit card processing will go haywire somewhere, but more importantly, few will emerge victorious in online sales – because many retailers already know internet shopping is Amazon’s backyard. It will be exciting to hear stories claiming “site not found” or “server busy” when the submit order button is click.
For now, Black Friday will go down as one small victory for a business model searching for consistency.