Preliminary data released by business services provider Sensormatic Solutions, indicated a 2.9% increase in retail foot traffic on Black Friday, November 25, compared to 2021, while Adobe Analytics reported that online sales at $9.12 billion gained from $8.92 billion a year ago, good but not as good as Cyber Monday, which the firm puts at $11.3 billion versus $10.7 billion for the date in 2021.
According to Sensormatic, enclosed malls saw a 1.2% traffic increase while non-mall traffic to lifestyle centers, strip centers and standalone stores increased by 4.7% versus Black Friday 2021. Sensormatic Solutions stated that it expects holiday traffic to occur differently in 2022 versus recent years given that Christmas occurs on Sunday. The 2022 holiday calendar is unlikely to affect overall volume, but Sensormatic noted that retailers may need to adjust their approach to account for an earlier Super Saturday than usual. Many marketers recognize Super Saturday as the last Saturday before Christmas Eve. So it falls on December 17 in 2022, and, so, earlier than is typically the case, and leaving another full shopping week behind it including Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24, for truly last-minute shoppers.
The calendar challenge may be compounded by an increase in consumers planning to shop in person this year versus 2020 and 2021. In a consumer sentiment survey, Sensormatic found that 51% of respondents intended to do at least some of their shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. Visits to physical stores on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, increased by 19.7% year over year, Sensormatic pointed out. The survey further demonstrated that consumers will have price, availability and convenience as top of mind as they complete their holiday shopping.
Sensormatic maintained that, in the United States, 2022’s 10 busiest shopping days are likely to account for 40% of all holiday traffic.
“As we expected, Black Friday deals and the in-store experience attracted shoppers, resulting in a solid turnout this year,” said Brian Field, global leader of retail consulting and analytics at Sensormatic Solutions, in introducing the research results. “The pandemic-driven trend of shopping in unenclosed shopping centers has endured and malls are seeing a resurgence as well. Our data shows consumers continue to enjoy the benefits of brick-and-mortar shopping.”
As for the 2022 holiday calendar, Fields said, “The last time Christmas fell on a Sunday was back in 2016. That means historical data will be crucial to retailers as we head into December.”
Adobe, for its part, noted that online holiday sales have been increasing as discounts got generally deeper. For example, average discounts on electronics, toys and apparel, key gifting categories for the holiday, were less than 2% in early October despite retail sales efforts in that period, but for Cyber Monday, electronic average discounts were 23.8% while those for toys were 33.8% and those for apparel were 16.5%. In furniture, discounts were a bit shy of 2% in early October while those for appliances were a little more than 3% on average. On Cyber Monday, furniture discounts were 6% on average while those for appliances were 14.5%. Adobe forecasts that consumer spending during the holidays will produce retail revenue growth of about 2.5% to $210 billion.