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Did Black Friday die this year?

Did Black Friday die this year?

The entire Thanksgiving shopping weekend saw a large drop in consumer traffic and spending at malls and retail stores across the country this year. According to RetailNext, traditional brick-and-mortar stores just couldn't keep up with mobile and online offerings this year. It would seem Americans are becoming more savvy with when and how they get their shopping done, and are unwilling to sacrifice family time to get a good deal. 

Assuming this trend continues, could the long lines and chaotic crowds associated with Black Friday be on their way out? 

The death of Black Friday
On Black Friday this year, sales in U.S. stores were down 11.9 percent compared to 2014, according to retail analytic group ShopperTrak. RetailNext stated there was also a 5.1 percent dip in store traffic, although the amount each consumer actually spent jumped 3.1 percent, perhaps softening the blow for businesses dealing with lower-than-expected sales.

According to Practical Ecommerce, Thanksgiving shopping numbers were down as well, and stores saw nearly $200 million less in sales compared to 2014. Having said that, American shoppers still shelled out $1.8 billion at malls and shopping centers across the country Thursday night.

Overall, however, the weekend saw a huge dip in the total number of sales at brick-and-mortar stores. ShopperTrak found that the $20.43 billion that was spent in total over the Thanksgiving shopping weekend still represented a 10.4 percent decrease compared to the amount of money spent in 2014. 

While malls and brick-and-mortar stores struggled during the opening of this year's holiday shopping season, online retail made a big splash. For anyone who still has holiday shopping to do, taking paid surveys to earn money at home is a great way to make extra cash.

The rise of mobile
Practical Ecommerce reported that online shopping numbers on Thanksgiving alone jumped 25 percent compared with last year's numbers. Some $1.73 billion was spent by online shoppers, and there was a 9 percent jump in the amount an average consumer spent.

Stores such as REI, GameStop and Nordstrom that closed their doors on Thanksgiving saw big increases in online sales Thursday night. Instead of leaving family parties to battle mobs at actual stores, shoppers are wisely choosing to cash in on holiday sales from the comfort of their own home.

Online Black Friday sales were also up, jumping 14.3 percent from 2014's numbers. A total of $2.74 billion was spent on online shopping this Black Friday, with $905 million coming from mobile sales, according to Practical Ecommerce.

Cyber Monday represents another threat to traditional Black Friday shopping. Practical Ecommerce reported that this year, online sales were up 16.2 percent on Cyber Monday, and the number of orders also jumped 14.7 percent.

Next year, retailers will need to weigh the decision to remain open during Thanksgiving, and may consider investing resources into making online shopping easier and more accessible for consumers. The Thanksgiving shopping weekend appears to be in good health, but the cornerstone of Black Friday mall blitzes may be at risk of becoming outdated in the age of smart phones and ubiquitous online shopping. 


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