Black Friday Weekend Update
Check out the early results from the long holiday weekend!
Results are trickling in from the shopping period from Thanksgiving to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and in some cases Sunday. While today, Cyber Monday, is certainly impactful, I wanted to share some initial feedback from this important shopping weekend.
The general consensus is that overall results were somewhere in the range of fair to good. Many reports show traffic in physical stores was down versus 2019 yet way up (as expected) against 2020. Sales, however, were closer to 2019 levels, indicating the consumers who shopped in stores spent more money. Perhaps a bit more surprising is online sales numbers appeared to be at the low end of expectations.
But there are “disclaimers”!
Many merchants indicate that shoppers, driven by potential product shortages and the related press coverage, shopped earlier than normal, potentially pulling some sales forward.
Research, including my own firm’s, reflect a significant reduction in promotional levels. Both the number of items being promoted and the depth of the discounts being offered were much lower than in year’s past. Even at lower sales numbers, this potentially could generate the same or more gross margin dollars.
Some will say that there is still a month which will impact holiday results so wait to see how things shake out. I would suggest otherwise.
While nobody can accurately predict what the next 30-ish days have in store for merchants, I do know there is still plenty of time to impact those results.
Don’t get caught up in speculation. Instead, study the numbers from the weekend and identify where opportunities exist. Some possibilities:
Is your gross margin % on plan? Is it above LY?
Same question re: gross margin $$.
Are your units per transaction up vs. LY?
Is your average order value up vs. LY?
Is your average unit value up vs. LY?
Is store traffic up vs. LY?
Is your payroll as a percentage of sales down vs. LY?
Are there particular day-parts that are weak from a sales perspective?
Are your top sellers driving too much or too little of your overall business?
What are your bottom sellers? What percent of overall inventory do they represent? Do they need to be marked down?
What percentage of sales are from your promotions? Too high? Too low?
Are gift card sales above LY and 2019 (units and dollars)?
Online, are your page views, time on site, and bounce rates better or worse than LY?
How is your inventory availability as compared to plan?
All of the above provide the opportunity to adjust your selling tactics to potentially improve your results. Yes, even if your weekend was superb, it can always be better! Dig in and act quickly as every day and every hour counts!
Here are some of the latest updates on the holiday weekend results:
Black Friday shopping in stores drops 28% from pre-pandemic levels as shoppers spread spending throughout the season
Shoppers go to town as UK rings in biggest-ever Black Friday sales day
Consumer Spend Fails to Impress on Black Friday 2021
Black Friday Brings Mixed Results for Retailers at First Glance
Black Friday hits new record: Report
Black Friday crowds return, but discounts are not what they used to be
Online spending on Black Friday decreased for the very first time
Retail sales surged this Black Friday, though the day's impact is diluted
Black Friday bounces back from 2020. Shoppers hit stores again
'Flash mob' thieves target U.S. retail stores on Black Friday
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