Past excitement of Black Friday waning as sales and traffic at brick and mortar stores down for third straight year

Up until 2015, Black Friday was comparable to a new Apple product release for many shoppers as masses of people would camp out in front of stores hours in advance to try to grab the limited amount of special deals waiting just inside the doors.  However over the past three years, sales and markdowns that began as early as the Monday before Thanksgiving coupled with online shopping have begged the question from analysts, is Black Friday now dead?

When it comes to holiday shopping sprees, the traditional Black Friday bonanza is no longer the number one event. More and more people across the US choose to sleep in instead of rising before dawn the morning after Thanksgiving.

Despite favorable economic conditions, including the lowest unemployment rate in 17 years, cheap and easy-to-get loans, the annual sales fest doesn’t expect a traditional avalanche of shoppers, standing in endless lines outside stores and then shopping until they drop.

According to the latest survey by the National Retail Federation, 59 percent of consumers are planning to shop online instead of going to brick and mortar shops. That’s reportedly the first year when buying online is the most popular choice for shoppers.

“The holiday season is always important, but this year is more important than ever. Department stores are struggling to prove they are still relevant,” said Robert Schulz, the chief credit analyst for the retail sector for Standard & Poors, as quoted by CNN Money.

The analyst forecasts strong spending this holiday season but warns that traditional retailers have nothing good to come from that.

At the same time, more and more people opt to do their holidays shopping throughout the week of Thanksgiving and after Black Friday. Only 35 percent of shoppers intend to do most of their shopping on the very day of Black Friday this year, down 24 percent since 2015, according to a report released by consultancy PwC earlier this month. – Russia Today

Yet perhaps what is more intriguing about the decline in Black Friday euphoria is that the day has actually slipped down to third place as the most popular day to shop, ending behind the Saturday before Christmas, and Cyber Monday.

In fact, it may come as a surprise to some, that Black Friday is no longer the busiest shopping day of the year. It ranks No. 3, behind the Saturday before Christmas and Cyber Monday, according to the consulting firm Customer Growth Partners. – Zerohedge

However give it a few more years and Black Friday could easily drop to fourth place behind Amazon Prime Day.

Most consumers have come to realize that the deals offered on the first day and a half (if you count the evening of Thanksgiving itself) of the holiday shopping season no longer represent the best markdowns on products they will experience during the six to seven weeks leading up to Christmas.  And below is a list of markdown trends that have emerged over the past few years that validate this.

 

In this digital age where even our money and entertainment choices can be controlled on our Smartphones, shoppers no longer feel the need to have to get up in the middle of the night and fight the crowds over a $10 set of towels that might just find you stabbed or shot because the frenzy of Black Friday is life or death to some.  And it also appears that the trend is shifting to where remaining in bed on the day after Thanksgiving is a better alternative than to get up at 2am in the freezing cold to wait for a discounted television that will probably be long gone before you even reach the door.

Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for The Daily EconomistSecretsofthefed.comRoguemoney.net, and Viral Liberty, and hosts the popular youtube podcast on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.

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