Traditionally the single-biggest sales day of the year, the shopping holiday has morphed into a month-long event — causing retailers to adapt their strategies. This year, Black Friday will no longer be the biggest sales day of the year, according to a forecast from in-store analytics firm RetailNext. In fact, Black Friday is expected to be only the third biggest shopping day in overall sales and the second biggest traffic day for stores during the holiday season: Friday, Dec. 23, and Super Saturday, Dec. 17, are projected to beat Black Friday for overall sales, while Super Saturday is expected to see more store traffic.
Instead of promotions culminating on Black Friday, “stores have started opening on Thanksgiving Day, which pilfers against Black Friday because people go to the stores on Thursday,” Shelley Kohan, vice president of retail consulting at RetailNext, told Retail Dive. Meanwhile, the convergence of digital and physical retail has driven retailers to develop more holistic omnichannel strategies spanning the entire month of November.
All this adds up to an evolving holiday season, one where retailers might not be able to count on Black Friday as a saving grace to drive the most sales and traffic. Instead, the 2016 holiday season will challenge retailers to meet the omnichannel shopper's needs from now right up until the end of December.