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Black Friday Shopping Is A Little Different This Year: Could It Stay This Way Forever?

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Black Friday Shopping Is A Little Different This Year: Could It Stay This Way Forever?

The concept of Black Friday sales has been replaced with a holiday shopping season that started in October, according to SW Retail Advisors Stacey Widlitz.

Six Week Event: Most retailers kicked off their "Black Friday sales" six weeks ago at around the same time Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) held its annual Prime Day event, Widlitz said on CNBC. Consumers that still love the shopping experience on Friday may be disappointed as retailers are operating with really tight levels of inventory while promotional activity isn't as compelling as in prior years.

"The deals have been really good and probably pulled forward," she said. "Maybe today is a lot less important than usual."

Multi-Month Event? By some measures, consumers started shopping for the holiday season way back in June, Colliers International's Anjee Solanski also said on CNBC. Specifically, Pinterest Inc (NYSE: PINS) said holiday-related searches rose 77% year-over-year in April.

Consumers were buying presents in the summer months and this trend will likely continue into the future. But during the Black Friday period, consumers are emphasizing the convenience of buying online and picking up in stores because it is "more nimble for them."

Related Link: 3 ETFs For Black Friday In The Age Of COVID-19

Shipping And Shortages: Consumers that aren't placing orders for the holidays now could risk not getting their packages on time, Telsey Advisory Group CEO Dana Telsey said on CNBC. Retailers have confirmed their inventory levels are lower than usual and they're going to chase into demand, Telsey said. Some retailers are going so far as cautioning customers on their website that orders must be placed prior to Dec. 10 so it arrives in time for Christmas.

Black Friday Is Still Important Bottom line, Black Friday remains important in the minds of consumers but "not like it was in the past," Telsey said. However, it could prove to be difficult to quantify this thesis since foot traffic in stores has to be severely limited for health and safety reasons.

 

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