Home Blog Holiday Sales Mixed Bag Despite Black Friday | Blog

The NPD Group Blog

Insights and Opinions From Analysts and Experts in More Than 20 Industries

Holiday Sales Mixed Bag Despite Black Friday | Blog

Thanksgiving Week Got a Bump, But Holiday Sales Are Still Out of Balance

Nov 28, 2017
Marshal Cohen, Chief Industry Advisor ;
Retail

Stores were certainly busier than last year, but from what I saw Thanksgiving and Black Friday were a mixed bag this year. The early parts of both days were busy but ongoing store traffic wasn’t stellar, and it wasn’t consistent from store to store, or mall to mall.

The latest results from NPD’s partner, CivicScience, show that the peak holiday shopping week had more of an impact this year than the last two years. More shoppers had done a little holiday shopping (26 percent) by Thanksgiving week this year than in prior years (24 percent in 2015, 23 percent in 2016), and this was a noticeable jump from 21 percent the week prior – in 2015 and 2016, this number didn’t change at all over the same two week period.

While Thanksgiving week and Black Friday proved to be more important this year, it’s clear the holiday season is just getting warmed up. Through the week ending the Sunday after Thanksgiving, 52 percent of shoppers hadn’t started their holiday shopping yet, which is ahead of 2016 results for the same week, and in line with 2015 results. As expected, Holiday 2017 is shaping up to be less like last year, and more like two years ago, meaning last minute procrastination will be less of a factor this year.

Despite the positive early momentum of this holiday season, 78 percent of shoppers still have most, if not all, of their holiday shopping ahead of them. This also aligns with what I saw and heard while roaming the stores and malls this weekend – much more of consumer purchasing was for themselves, and less than normal actual gift shopping over Black Friday weekend. A number of shoppers told me they hadn’t shopped since the summer. Consumers are actually saving up their purchases and waiting for these discount holidays.

Extensive promotions have created an imbalance in shopping throughout the year, but the good news is that consumers are engaged in shopping and spending. Let’s see what happens once consumers are done getting what they want and start to engage in true holiday spending.



Related Blog Posts


January 30, 2018

Sneakernomics: State of the Outdoor Retail Industry

On the heels of the Outdoor Retailer show, Matt Powell outlines the in-store and online performance of the U.S. outdoor industry stepping into 2018, across apparel, footwear and equipment.

December 29, 2017

2018 Could Be a Rocky Road for Retail

Everyone wrote retail off during Holiday 2017, but the consumer was resilient and the economy keeps chugging along.

November 30, 2017

Sneakernomics: “Surprise and Delight”

The U.S. sports industry is in a downward spiral, and price is the primary driver. Retail must return to the days of inspirational and aspirational products that surprise and delight consumers.

October 27, 2017

Holiday 2017 vs. Holiday 2016: Apples to Apples, or Apples to Oranges?

Every year we talk about how the upcoming holiday season will compare to the prior, but sometimes that isn’t the best comparison to make.

Newsletter

Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View our privacy policy.

Follow Us

© The NPD Group, Inc.