Recession worries and inflation take their toll on Black Friday.
Online sales for one of the biggest shopping days of the year are expected to hit $9 billion, up just 1% year over year, according to data released on Friday by Adobe, the software and market research company.
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Researchers predict more consumers will shop in person this Black Friday than last year.
Charles Lindsey, an associate professor in the Marketing School of Management at the University at Buffalo, told MarketWatch that consumers are finding their feet again after the pandemic, feeling the pressure of higher prices and worrying about talks of a possible recession in 2023 .
Against this background, it is understandable that consumers are sending out “mixed signals”.
The National Retail Federation projects that Americans will spend between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion this holiday season, up 6% to 8% from $889.3 billion last year.
Thanksgiving online sales rose an estimated 2.9% to $5.29 billion this year, with people tempted by big discounts on toys and electronics, Adobe said.
Adobe expects “Cyber Week” — the five days from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday — to generate $34.8 billion in online spending, up 2.8% year-on-year for a share of 16.3% of the entire Christmas period in November/December.
The biggest shopping day of the year is yet to come
Cyber Monday remains the biggest online shopping day of the season and year to $11.2 billion, up 5.1% year-on-year.
Mobile shopping accounted for 55% of online sales, 8.3% more than in the previous year. Consumers have spent $77.74 billion over the holiday season so far in the first 24 days of November.
Overall, more than 166.3 million people plan to shop from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, nearly 8 million more people than last year, according to projections released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
“While consumers continue to save the bulk of their holiday shopping for later in November and December, some of that spending has shifted into October,” said Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategy at Prosper.
“This year, 18% of holiday shoppers have done at least half of their holiday shopping. While this is on par with last year, it’s down from just 11% a decade ago.”
Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate.com, told MarketWatch that a 2023 recession is likely, “although the best guess is that it will be mild.”
So far, furlough spending has been supported by a strong labor market, he said, but people’s savings from the pandemic era are “slowly being eroded”.