Black Friday has lost its power to wow shoppers

Black Friday may not prove to be the shopping bonanza US retailers are hoping for according to new data from retail research house Conlumino.

Just 18 per cent of American shoppers intend to spend more during the promotional event than they did last year and 24 per cent will spend about the same.

Most significantly, 45 per cent say they will spend a less compared to last year and almost 13 per cent will not shop the event at all.

Americans are increasingly unimpressed with Black Friday, on November 27 this year, with 71 per cent saying it is less important nowadays as discounts are available all year round and 70 per cent believe Black Friday shopping is “less fun than it used to be”.

“Coming against the backdrop of a general softness in the consumer economy, this will be unwelcome news for many retailers that are pinning their hopes on a robust Black Friday to boost sales and clear inventory,” said Conlumino CEO Neil Saunders.

Physical shops are particularly vulnerable to the slowdown – 62 per cent of Americans say they don’t see much point in visiting stores on Black Friday as they can now do their shopping online, explains Saunders.

And over half of Americans agree that shops should not open on Thanksgiving Day.

Conlumino’s recent consumer sentiment data show that while many households are still being careful with spending, 39.4 per cent say their own personal financial circumstances are either good or very good, while a further 33.5 per cent say that they are OK.

“This isn’t about finances, it’s more of a psychological shift in how consumers see Black Friday,” says Saunders.

“The truth is that retailers have undermined Black Friday both by discounting all year round and by stretching the event over many weeks. That weakens its appeal and gives rise to a boredom factor. It’s like anything in life: the more you get of something, the less you tend to value it.

“The lack of interest seems to be more related to that fact that Black Friday has lost its power to wow and amaze shoppers.”

The survey was based on responses from 3520 US consumers polled across the country in early November.


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