Black Friday has been losing its clout for years. The coronavirus pandemic could be what finishes it. The one-day event of doorbuster deals, packed mall parking lots and crowded shops has long been considered the unofficial kickoff to the holiday shopping season.
Its name comes from the sizable effect the buying blitz can have on a retailer’s bottom line, pushing them “into the black,” or toward profitability, after three quarters of money-losing sales. A typical Black Friday in previous years could equate to about an extra week of sales for some retailers, according to analytical intelligence firm 1010data.
In recent years, however, Black Friday’s importance has faded. More retailers have offered similar sales online, making it possible for shoppers to browse and buy from their couch or on their smartphone rather than having to camp out in a Best Buy parking lot, or cut through thick crowds at the mall. In the midst of a global health crisis, shoppers have even more reason to avoid long lines to snag a deep discount on a smartwatch, boots or a Nintendo Switch.
Some 64% of consumers said they are less inclined to shop on Black Friday than they were a few years ago, according to a survey of more than 1,500 consumers by Accenture. Nearly 60% said they had also lost interest in shopping on Cyber Monday. Those numbers have risen from 55% and 47%, respectively, from last year… CNBC News