Will Black Friday sales beat Singles Day in 2019?

Andrew Cummings
November 30, 2019

He also believes that a shortened season - with six fewer shopping days than previous year - won't impact sales.

Black Friday, in reference to shopping after Thanksgiving, first appeared in The American Philatelist, a stamp collectors' magazine.

Visits to retailers showed more shoppers after a sluggish start Friday (Nov 29) - but frantic crowds were nowhere to be seen.

A lot of shopping during Thanksgiving and Black Friday now happens online.

"It looks empty for Black Friday", said Latoya Robinson, a student who lives in NY and planned to stop by Forever 21 and Macy's to shop for herself.


As of 5pm ET on Thanksgiving Day, shoppers had spent $2.1bn online, up 20.2% on a year ago. "Now it seems more symbolic than significant in the pantheon of retail holidays".

Black Friday once again kicks off the start of the USA holiday shopping season. Workers at Amazon in Germany went on strike for better pay. Rather, the bigger emerging challenge for Black Friday has been shifting consumer patterns. Presumably thanks to retailers heavily slashing prices so that they can clear the inventory from their shelves as they make way for 2020.

Economists and retail industry insiders are broadly confident about the outlook for the 2019 season, owing to a strong labour market. All of these factors are likely to boost consumer spending.

The National Retail Federation said Black Friday isn't the kickoff to holiday shopping like it once was, but it is still very popular. "Online doesn't experience these limitations: consumers can get better offers, more conveniently".

This trend includes Amazon of course, but also traditional brick-and-mortar chains like Walmart and Macy's that have evolved into "multichannel" retailers, as well as companies and organizations hawking everything from pet food to hotel stays to political merchandise.


"We still have the same amount of money to spend regardless of whether the season is longer or shorter", he said.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren of MA was offering 25 per cent off merchandise orders of US$75 or more.

Black Friday is expected to once again be the largest shopping day of the season, followed by the last Saturday before Christmas, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse, which tracks spending across all types of payments including cash and check.

Sales made prior to Thanksgiving and Black Friday could erode "the spike that we have seen in sales dollars historically", Bitar said.

Around this time it can get a little hectic with thousands of people hunting for Black Friday deals.


Black Friday shoppers fought for parking spots and travelled cross-state to their favourite malls, kicking off a shortened shopping season that intensified the mad scramble between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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