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Report: Black Friday Saw Massive Increase in Retail Visits

Ethan Chernofsky

With all of the holiday “special shopping days” around, there has been a narrative that Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving – has declined in importance for retailers.

However, according to Placer.ai data, this wasn’t the case during Black Friday of 2023. The metrics demonstrated that comparing the Black Fridays of 2022 and 2023, “visits showed a massive jump across the brick-and-mortar retail space,” a Placer.ai blog post said.

“The dramatic shift in visits, especially during a year when economic challenges limited performance for so many segments, provided the latest testament that Black Friday creates a unique draw for customers,” Placer.ai’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Ethan Chernofsky told Connect CRE.

Source: Placer.ai

Electronics Takes the Prize

The Placer.ai data indicated that the increase in Black Friday visits year over year was apparent across many retail segments like the following:

  • Electronics Retailers: 538..1%
  • Beauty & Self-Care: 375.0%
  • Department Stores: 338.1%
  • Recreational & Sporting Goods: 322.9%

The blog indicated that Electronics Retailers, Beauty & Self Care and Department Stores “continued enjoying significant visit spikes over the weekend.”

The Placer.ai blog acknowledged that the peaks did “come from the relative challenges faced in several of these segments in 2023 because of the wider economic challenges.” But the article suggested that the spike in visits set a positive groundwork for retail visits during the 2023 holiday season.

Another potential numbers aspect focused on consumers looking for sales and bargains and whether this drove more visits. Chernofsky said it’s tough to determine what role bargain seekers played on the visits. “But the combination of a major holiday that is centered around doorbusters and value-seeking in the midst of an economic environment driven by this same behavior makes the connection hard to overlook,” he noted.

The Holidays – and Beyond

Will that spike in visits bode well for retail when the holiday season ends? The answer is yes . . . but.

“It’s important to consider which retailers perform best at different parts of the holiday season,” Chernofsky said. For example, Walmart and Target experience huge jumps in visits during the period building up to Christmas, as do off-price retailers. However, apparel and consumer electronics retailers might experience more visits post-Christmas as gift cards are used and unwanted gifts returned.

“Ultimately, there is certainly reason for optimism,” Chernofsky said. “But it’s critical to understand the ‘seasonality’ of each retailer and segment, even within the holiday season.”

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