The Black Friday tsunami of card swiping is behind us, and the stores are lit for the holidays. While Black Friday isn’t the only day that matters, as some stores turn on the “Black Friday Sale” light as early as Nov.1, it is still a huge day for how the balance sheet is going to look at year’s end. Money Examiners was curious about who were the day’s winners and losers. We knew you would be curious, too.
Clothing was a big winner this year, and that comes as a bit of a surprise. Apparel is usually a big Cyber Monday item, but this year the shoppers said, “I want to touch the sweater I’m buying.” Toys, electronics and, surprisingly enough, gift cards did well on Black Friday. In Money Examiners’ experience, gift cards tend to be a last-minute purchase.
Those who chose not to participate in big-ticket items must be placed in the “losers” column this year. Electronics’ retailers threw their best fastball on Black Friday as uncertainty about tariffs looms into the future. Money Examiners took a late evening trip to Walmart (for research purposes) Thanksgiving evening. We saw so many people marching out with TCL 55″ Series-5 televisions that it looked like looting was taking place. Instead, it turned out to be winning shoppers. Those sets normally retail for almost $600. Walmart was selling them on Black Friday for $375.
Shopping with a phone used to be considered complicated and risky. Count smartphones as a winner. Over a billion dollars was spent by folks hitting “Buy” with their phones.
Guns a Loser!
Guns were losers, perhaps signaling a change of mindset in a shoot-first society. We know this through the feds who count background checks and report the numbers to the press. Background checks were down more than ten percent on Black Friday this year.
Buy online and pick it up in store wins!
That is the coming trend in groceries, and it is an already-arrived winner when it comes to retail of other items. Walmart alone reported a 50% increase in such transactions this year over last year.
The hey-day of the tablet may have come and gone sooner than any of us thought. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. Today’s smartphone is larger and more versatile than ever before. Millennials are used to balancing their phones while they negotiate their day. Who needs a tablet? Put it under “losers.”
Sears Loses the One Day They Had to Win!
Also losing on Black Friday was Sears, and they needed a big day in the worst way. Shoppers trickled in and out of the big Sears stores, but never showed up in battalion strength. Concern about getting service on big things and being able to return smaller items created just enough doubt to keep people away. Also, everyone expects clearance and going out of business sales at Sears any day now.
Finally, count Black Friday itself as a winner. In the first three weeks of November, much was written about whether the erstwhile “biggest shopping day of the year” was still relevant. While it will be rivaled by Sat. Dec 22, Black Friday remains a big deal to many people.
Already, Money Examiners is wondering if we missed out on one of those TCL 55″ TVs. Ah, regret is a bitter dish, is she not? And “losers” is the saddest line in which to queue.