As we enter back into the work week on the Monday morning after the Thanksgiving holiday, we reflect on many things, like the food we ate, the memories we created and all of the shopping that took place. Black Friday was the main attraction of the weekend, taking place during the early hours on Friday morning. Customers got their wallets ready, and retailers prepared to meet the crazed shoppers who prepare for this day year around.
With all of the talk of Black Friday, the retail industry was skeptical about just how many physical stores will be disrupted. With Cyber Monday today, brick and mortar stores faced the intense competition that has increased through online shopping. On Friday, a true test was set to see just how many customers still prefer physical stores to online.
According to Business Insider, many stores were empty compared to previous years.
“When Business Insider’s Sarah Jacobs arrived at the Atlantic Terminal Mall in Brooklyn early Friday morning, she found a meager line outside waiting for the mall to open, and even fewer people outside Target and Best Buy.” Business Insider reports.
This may not come as a surprise to you, but for retailers, it could seem like an expected scenario. There are many factors that contribute to the fact that malls were a bit empty this year. One of them has to do with the fact that retailers stretched Black Friday out to be a whole week event, as opposed to only one day. This was done in an attempt to reach shoppers and really grab their attention, as they anticipate even better sales on Friday.
“Early estimates from ShopperTrak, a data analytics company that measures the number of shoppers at stores, said foot traffic “decreased less than one percent when compared to Black Friday 2016.” Money CNN reports.
Besides from the fact that there was less foot traffic on Black Friday, many major retailers faced issues and glitches involving customer’s payment transactions.
Macy’s Hits A Speed Bump
Macy’s received backlash on Black Friday after customers were met with glitches in computer systems while trying to pay for products. Customers reacted in an abundance of tweets on Twitter, revealing that shoppers were not happy with the fact they are forced to pay with cash instead of credit cards.
“Came to the Macy’s on State for some Black Friday shopping and all of the registers are down,” says one of the several angry comments on Macy’s Facebook page. “No credit or debit, only cash! Wasted time picking things out only to leave empty handed with all my merchandise at the register.” Business Insider reports.
It comes as no surprise that customers would be angry about this, considering Black Friday is one of the most high-intensity shopping days of the year. Customers are anticipating to spend money on this day, which is a reason how retailers benefit from this holiday. It took Macy’s until 6:00 pm on Friday to resolve the issues. By then, was it too late?
The major retailer reported that its stock has increased 4% to $21.45 on Friday, which is better than most major retailers. So, despite the glitch, Macy’s was still met with some pretty good sales.
Online Shopping Soared
Even though brick and mortar stores were not as crowded on Black Friday, online shopping soared. According to CNN, American shoppers broke records while shopping online. In 24 hours, shoppers spend $5 billion dollars. This is a massive increase from last year’s Black Friday. 16.9% increase, to be exact.
With online shopping increasing so rapidly on Black Friday, one can only imagine just how popular Cyber Monday will be. Until then, we will wait to see how much shoppers will spend today.
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