What Will Black Friday Shopping Trends Look Like in 2023?

November 16, 2023

In recent years, consumer shopping trends have been greatly impacted by the pandemic and the economic challenges that followed. In 2023, sky-high inflation and elevated interest rates have fueled cost-conscious spending, boosting foot traffic to affordable, discount, and off-price shopping destinations. So, amid evolving consumer trends and economic challenges, what stores and brands will attract consumers this Black Friday?  

A group of friends carrying shopping bags runs excitedly through the mall together

To gain insight into what this year’s Black Friday shopping trends may look like, we examined foot traffic to a variety of stores and retail brands on Black Friday in 2022. Here’s what we found.

Black Friday Shopping Trends by Category

Last year, all types of retail stores saw increased foot traffic on Black Friday compared to all other Fridays. Clothing stores saw the greatest increase in foot traffic at 74%. Sports and athleticwear retailers saw a 66% increase, and stores categorized as other, including electronic stores, increased by 64%. Furthermore, department stores and arts and crafts stores experienced a 42% increase, while discount and dollar stores saw a 41% rise.

While all categories of retail stores saw increased foot traffic on Black Friday in 2022, bookstores and wholesalers experienced the smallest uptick in foot traffic at 14% and 15%, respectively.

It makes sense that clothing and electronics stores saw the highest increases in foot traffic on Black Friday in 2022. These items are historically popular purchases on Black Friday, and they are predicted to be the top-purchased items during Black Friday weekend this year as well. 

To learn even more about what brands will attract the most in-store shoppers on Black Friday, let’s analyze the data by brand.

Black Friday Shopping Trends by Brand

Last year, in-person Black Friday shopping trends favored clothing stores heavily. Saks Fifth Avenue and Banana Republic saw the highest increases in foot traffic, rising by 190% and 101%, respectively. Also seeing some of the highest increases were Sephora and Best Buy, with increases of 90% and 76%, respectively. All these stores have one thing in common: price. Shoppers likely flocked to these stores that sell generally expensive products to take advantage of Black Friday sales and get high-quality items at steep discounts.

The only retailer that saw decreased foot traffic on Black Friday last year was REI. REI has recently made a permanent commitment to close its doors on Black Friday, pay its employees to enjoy recreational time outdoors, and encourage consumers to do the same as part of its Opt Outside movement. So, REI will see a drop in foot traffic on Black Friday this year, but what about the other stores we analyzed? Are consumer trends going to favor the same brands again in 2023?

Predictions for Black Friday 2023

Competition within the retail industry during the upcoming holiday shopping season will be tough. Black Friday 2023 is projected to be the biggest Black Friday ever, as more consumers are prepared to shop, to spend more, and to expect more from retailers, particularly when it comes to convenience and discounts. In an effort to attract customers during today’s economic uncertainty, discounts are at an all time high, and customers are expecting big savings during Black Friday this year as well as increasingly convenient and digitized in-store shopping experiences. This means consumers will be looking for high-ticket products at highly discounted rates, along with digital elements such as digital browsing options and mobile checkout for a frictionless shopping experience.

Not only that, but it’s anticipated that clothing stores, electronic stores, and sports and athleticwear retailers will once again see increased foot traffic. Since high-ticket electronics are the most sought after Black Friday purchases, it’s likely that stores like Best Buy and other popular destinations for electronics will see some of the most foot traffic on Black Friday again this year as consumers seek the best deals for their pricey purchases. Plus, in the wake of the current economic challenges consumers are facing, it is likely that foot traffic to discount stores and big-box retailers will significantly rise as well. But one thing’s for sure: retailers that offer in-demand products at highly competitive prices and with added convenience will see success on Black Friday 2023 and for the rest of the holiday shopping season.

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