— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on November 27, 2019, Wednesday.
Sales of the Black Friday probably would not be too bad, seeing from the estimated data of different institutions, but Black Friday, this most traditional and symbolic shopping festival is still losing it attractiveness. Let's take a look over the overall forecast for this year's shopping season.
Total sales of Thanksgiving may break $1T the first time, according to eMarketer, while NRF believes the total sales for the U.S. shopping seasons in Nov and Dec are likely to be between $727.9bn and $730.7bn, the increase ranged from 3.8 per cent to 4.2 per cent compared to last year's data, and $16.53m Americans will go shopping from this Thursday to next Monday.
Their shopping enthusiasm emerges from thanksgiving, and explores on Black Friday, then declines on weekend, but rise again on cyber Monday.
This is a common shopping cycle for Black Friday in the U.S.; however, we can see that, compared to last few years, number of Americans who plan to go shopping on Thursday surged. In fact, with the popularization of online shopping, Black Friday also goes longer. Cyber Monday pop up in last several years and starts encroaching the sales of Black Friday, then, with the boost of Amazon, which is the biggest e-commerce platform in the U.S., Black Friday is further extended.
This year, Amazon kicked off its Black Friday sales from last Friday, Walmart did that from Oct, which is the earliest Black Friday sales for it. Some experts believe that there is an all-year promotion trend in the U.S. market, because of the great influence of Amazon's sales and new shopping festivals that come up recent years, which distract consumers' attention from Black Friday. Additionally, With the popularity of price comparison websites, the limited-and-low-price gimmick used by some traditional retailers during Black Friday is also less appealing to consumers, all those bring pressure to traditional retailers. Sales in bricks and mortar stores still account for the majority, but are dropping every year, while online shopping is increasing. Under this trend, traditional retail platforms, such as Macy's, whose share price has lost around 50% this year, face great pressure. Even tough, Black Friday is still an important sales day to almost all retailers. Last year, sales on Black Friday in some U.S. brick and mortar stores account for 6%-7% of that in one quarter, which almost equal to 7 times of normal sales, in some special cases, this number maybe greater.
The last notable point is that there are still many uncertainties in the sales of Black Friday this year, on the one front, there are 6 days less from thanksgiving to Christmas compared to last year, so the U.S. consumers and businesses are facing a shorten shopping season. On the other front, U.S. economy and trade still face uncertainty, in Nov, U.S. consumer confidence index dropped for the 4 straight months. How will the sales performance be? We will keep an eye on this issue.