scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Black Friday draws US shoppers, but many go online

🔴 Several retailers — including Walmart, Target and Best Buy — are expected to post lower fourth-quarter profit margins because of tight inventory and higher costs for raw materials, freight and labor.

By: Reuters | Chicago |
November 28, 2021 2:12:27 am
Black Friday draws US shoppers, but many go onlinePeople line up near a store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York City, on Black Friday. (Reuters)

Bargain hunters ventured out in chilly weather to buy Christmas gifts on Black Friday only to discover that many US retailers offered smaller price markdowns this year amid tight supplies.

Covid fears and fewer “doorbuster” sales thinned crowds the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday, which kicks off the year-end holiday shopping season.

On the same day, the World Health Organization named the newly identified omicron variant of the coronavirus as a “variant of concern,” triggering worldwide alarm and a selloff in the US stock market.

Stores on Black Friday had the lowest level of clearance goods for sale in five years or more, Cowen analysts said in a note.
Many shoppers chose to pick up merchandise curbside rather than venturing inside stores. Black Friday retail sales are up 29.8 per cent versus 2020 through 3 p.m. ET, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.

Consumers spent $6.6 billion up until 9 p.m. ET on Friday, according to Adobe Digital Economy Index, which expected total spending of between $8.8 billion and $9.2 billion for the day.

Walmart and Target stood to outperform other retailers in part because of their buy-online-pick-up-at-store services, Cowen said. Target added more than 18,000 “drive-up” parking spaces, more than doubling spots versus last year.

The company said its most popular Black Friday deals included $219.99 for a KitchenAid professional stand mixer that regularly sells for $429.99, and savings of up to $60 on Apple Watches and AirPods.

Several retailers — including Walmart, Target and Best Buy — are expected to post lower fourth-quarter profit margins because of tight inventory and higher costs for raw materials, freight and labor. “Even though the holiday season should be okay from a sales standpoint — because retailers are discounting less — the margins won’t necessarily be higher because of inflation,” said Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Kodali.

US consumers are entering the holiday season flush with cash thanks to a still-hefty pile of savings from multiple rounds of government pandemic relief and double-digit wage increases as businesses compete for workers. Yet retailers had lured shoppers to make holiday purchases as early as September, because the supply chain logjam has prevented them from quickly replenishing year-end merchandise.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement