Black Friday shopping is usually an important American consumer tradition that is often regarded as the first day of Christmas shopping. It is well known for its great deals, exceptional discounts and most importantly, the craziness that surrounds it. Usually, the participation level by consumers has always been high, but this year, for the first time since 2009, consumer spending has declined a great deal.
According to a survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation, this year purchases at stores decreased 2.9 percent to $57.4 billion during the four days of Thanksgiving weekend. Even though two more million people shopped this year, their consumer spending decreased 3.9 percent to $407.02 per household. This worried a lot of the big retail stores like Target and Walmart, seeing as now they have to extend their deep discounts for more weeks to come in order to gain the profit they were expecting for the weekend.
The decrease in spending this year has been affected mainly because of the inconsistency in the job market, due to the fact that consumers that don’t have a secure economic situation, unlike their affluent counterparts, are less likely to go into a retail store and spend an obscene amount of money.
Some students like junior Arturo Cuellar have no interest in Black Friday, opting instead to get much needed hours of rest instead of participating in the consumer tradition.
“I don’t really go Black Friday shopping because it’s just not my thing,” Cuellar said. “I’m just not interested in going really early to find sales, I’d rather sleep in during my weekend.”
Other students, however, think it’s a positive experience and like participating in it even though they don’t purchase that much.
“I like Black Friday and feel it’s a great way for consumers to get good deals and for department stores to improve their revenue for the year,” sophomore Sindhu Manchiraju said. “I participate in Black Friday every year. Even if I don’t purchase a lot of things, I enjoy the spirit and waking up early to go shopping.”
Either way, retail stores now have to rethink their Black Friday strategy if they want to go back to more lucrative times where most buyers acquired 15 or more items instead of the current five or so.