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Amazon Still Can’t Take Down The Biggest In-Store Shopping Holiday

21 Sep 2018

Despite all the hand-wringing about the e-commerce titan ruining the retail industry and all who dare to dwell inside it, one research firm calls the demise of brick-and-mortar a “myth,” as it predicts the 10 busiest in-store shopping dates of the 2018 holiday season.

2017: A Fine Holiday Season For Retailers

Last holiday season, traffic slid 3% year over year at physical stores, which wasn’t a terrible thing for stores: it was only half the decline from the prior year, according to ShopperTrak data. And sales per shopper actually increased more than 3% between the Sunday before Thanksgiving through the end of 2017.

“This proved that shoppers are still flocking to brick-and-mortar and making purchases when they get there, reinforcing that the retail apocalypse is nothing more than a myth,” wrote ShopperTrak Retail Consulting Practice Senior Director Brian Field in a blog post Tuesday.

Target (TGT), Macy’s (M), Kohl’s (KSS) and Lululemon (LULU) were just a few retailers that reported solid holiday 2017 sales, though a number of others were not so cheery.

Some say the expanded dates of holiday promotional offerings has made Black Friday less special, since you can now access many of those deals online and not only on a single day. But Field says he’s seen “very consistent” November activity leading up to Black Friday over the last few years, which points to a continued concentration of shopping activity the week of Thanksgiving.

“It’s all about the Sunday before Thanksgiving through Black Friday weekend,” he said.

2018’s Busiest Shopping Days Of The Year

According to the firm, the most bustling days of this year’s holiday retail season will be:

  1. Friday, November 23 – Black Friday
  2. Saturday, December 22 – Super Saturday
  3. Saturday, December 15
  4. Sunday, December 23
  5. Saturday, November 24
  6. Saturday, December 8
  7. Friday, December 21
  8. Wednesday, December 26
  9. Saturday, December 1
  10. Saturday, December 29

Those 10 days are expected to make up nearly 45% of the season’s in-store shopping traffic, said ShopperTrak. Customers can expect weekend shopping to be at its most hectic between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. through the holidays and on Black Friday.

This year, retailers like Kohl’s and J.C. Penney (JCP) are reportedly hiring seasonal workers months earlier than in previous years. Target is increasing its seasonal team by 20% to 120,000 workers.

Brick-and-mortar stores will nevertheless have to hope that people withstand the allure of shopping online — or offer deals on their own sites. People spent $5.03 billion online on Black Friday, according to Adobe data, and a record $6.59 billion just three days later on Cyber Monday.

Amazon moved aggressively on the post-Thanksgiving retail event last year, opening a Black Friday Deals online shop front that offered sales on TVs, toys, electronics and the usual Black Friday fare. And on Monday, the company debuted Amazon Storefronts, an online hub for products sold by small- and medium-sized businesses.

ShopperTrak believes that Black Friday — which it says gets nearly 1.5 times the shopper traffic of Super Saturday — will boast more year-over-year improvement in 2018.

Source: Investors