Black Friday usually opens the US holiday shopping season with a flood of promotions but the exciting surging crowds of the past have fade out with the rise of e-commerce.
Most establishment in the retail, entertainment and tourism industries in their usual ways tried to entice customers after Thanksgiving with a bevy of offers on a day synonymous with American consumer culture and notorious “doorbuster” sales that start at the crack of dawn.
The fact is that US shoppers aren’t patronizing Black Friday’s promotions the way they use to do in the past.
A PricewaterhouseCoopers statistics shows that only 36 percent of US shoppers planned to shop this year on Black Friday, reducing one percent from last year and a further decline of 23 percent from 2015.
“Just a few years ago, Black Friday had the aura of a FOMO (fear of missing out) event,” PWC said. “Now it seems more symbolic than significant in the pantheon of retail holidays.”
The PWC survey also noted that for the first time in 2019 more consumers of about 54 percent said they’ll do more of their shopping online than in stores.
Black Friday will be followed in three days by “Cyber Monday,” a second highpoint of spending early in the season.
Friday’s sales have prompted copycat versions throughout Europe, an effort that has generated no small amount of friction.
This year’s events prompted protest in parts of France, Germany and the Netherlands that included environmentalist rallies outside Amazon distribution centers and human chains blocking malls.