Consumer foot traffic to brick-and-mortar retail stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday resulted in a combined 1% decline for the two-day period compared to last year, with a 1.7% decline in traffic on Black Friday versus 2017, according to new data from ShopperTrak.
“The fact that the combined shopper visits remained almost the same this year compared to the last three years proves that the notion of Black Friday not being popular anymore is a myth,” Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting for ShopperTrak, said in a statement.
The National Retail Federation predicted that about 164 million people would shop over the five days through Cyber Monday – which equals last year’s tally.
Meanwhile, online shopping over the holidays — much like e-commerce during the year — continues to grow exponentially.
Adobe reportedly expects online holiday shopping in November and December to increase nearly 15% from 2017. The tech company said Black Friday shopping on the Internet increased nearly 28% to $6.4 billion. Online shopping on Thanksgiving increased 28% to $3.7 billion.
Regardless, ShopperTrak estimates 80% of the holiday’s busiest shopping days are still ahead. The days include Super Saturday, which falls on Dec. 22, and the Sunday before Christmas, Dec. 23.
Notably, for the third year in a row, there are four Saturdays in December prior to Christmas Day, which will enhance the importance of both Dec. 8 and Dec. 15. In addition, similar to last year, the Saturday after Christmas, Dec. 29, is expected to be one of the busiest shopping days taking the last spot on the top 10 busiest day’s list.
“Shopping in physical stores during the holidays continues to be an exciting annual event for consumers and based on the Black Friday traffic data, retailers are in for a successful holiday season,” said Field.