Chicago—Black Friday Creep evidently worked. As most major retailers added early opening hours on Thanksgiving Day, the lure of deep discounts and doorbusters brought more shoppers into stores on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday (Nov. 28/29).
In its post-Black Friday review, ShopperTrak, a leading provider of shopper analytics, estimated that, when compared to Thanksgiving and Black Friday last year, brick-and-mortar shopper traffic increased 2.8%, to more than 1.07 billion store visits. Retail sales also increased by 2.3%, as shoppers spent an estimated total of $12.3 billion across the two days.
ShopperTrak’s results found that in-store traffic and sales varied by region with the South and West receiving the biggest boosts:
Midwest: increased 2.3%
Northeast: decreased 5%
South: increased 4.8%
West: increased 6.9%
Midwest: increased 3.3%
Northeast: decreased 7%
South: increased 4.8%
West: increased 6%
Interestingly, shoppers who took time on Thanksgiving Day to shop may not have returned on Black Friday, traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year. Looking only at Black Friday figures, when compared to Black Friday last year, brick-and-mortar shopper traffic fell 11.4% and retail sales also decreased by 13.2%.
“The Black Friday shopping experience is changing with more shoppers choosing to go out on Thanksgiving Day,” said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. “Consumers increasingly research products online before entering stores. When they arrive, customers know exactly what they want to buy–retailers now need to make their experience a satisfying one.”
Martin advises retailers that they need to step up their game. Brick-and-mortar retailers must provide their customers a quality shopping experience that creates incentive to purchase immediately, he said. “This is their key to a successful holiday season.”
ShopperTrak is the leading global provider of shopper insights and analytics to improve retail profitability and effectiveness. Retailers rely on ShopperTrak for comprehensive and integrated solution for accurate retail store traffic counting, interior analytics and industry benchmarking to better understand in-store shopper behavior. More than 750 of the world’s leading retail brands have ShopperTrak services deployed in more than 60,000 locations across 90 countries and territories. The Chicago-based company has more than 200 employees, with offices in San Francisco; High Wycombe, England; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Shenzhen, China; and Helsinki, Finland. www.shoppertrak.com.