CHICAGO, Nov 26, Reuters - Early risers ventured out, hoping to find gifts for their customers at 5 a.m. on Friday, as many major U.S. retailers opened their doors to shoppers at 5 a.m.
The Black Friday website was created on the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. In past years, retailers have hosted doorbuster'' discounts of 50% or more off everything from clothing and toys to TVs, prompting shoppers to line up outside stores and crowd into malls to search for deals.
Black Friday crowds have dwindled as online shopping has taken off, particularly in 2020 when people were still unvaccinated and worried about COVID - 19.
Early queues were expected, with some shoppers worried about an ongoing supply chain logjam https: www.reuters. com business autos-transportation containergeddon-supply crisis-drives - walmart-rivals - hire-their own-ships -- 2021 -- 10 -- 07 might prevent retailers from stocking sought-after items such as Hoverboard scooters, Nerf toys, Oculus Quest 2 headsets, AirPods Pro earbuds, and MacBook Air laptops.
This year, Walmart, Best Buy and Target did not require shoppers to wear masks, but some indoor malls kept existing mask requirements at www.reuters. According to consumer research platform Attest, two-thirds of 1,000 people surveyed on Nov. 13 were comfortable shopping in-person despite the ongoing pandemic.
Rod Sides, Deloitte's U.S. retail leader, said people are looking to get back to normal. The birds that go into the store may get the worm, and the early online birds may get the worm. A Deloitte survey shows that people had already spent 80% -- 85% of their budgets before Black Friday, according to a report by the Deloitte.com. The consultancy said two-fifths of respondents would line up at stores on Black Friday between midnight and 6 a.m.
Nivia Lopez, 26, from Bolingbrook, Illinois, has already scratched perfumes and makeup from Ulta Beauty off her Christmas list, but is going to Victoria's Secret, Best Buy and Nordstrom on Black Friday. Lopez took advantage of early online deals, as he usually shopped on Thanksgiving before stores closed on the holiday.
As stores welcome holiday shoppers, some may be reevaluating their security measures after high-end stores in some U.S. cities were targeted by brazen smash and grab robberies https: www.reuters. Com world us holidays-near smash and grab robbers -- hit-us luxury-retailers -- 2021 -- 11 -- 23, where masked thieves stuff bags full of merchandise.
Consumer spending increased by a greater than expected 1.3% in October, according to data released Wednesday. Spending on big-ticket items like automobiles lifted the headline figure, but the data also showed broad-based spending increases on services like travel.
Online and brick and mortar retailing come together just outside the store. On Black Friday, retailers including Target, Macy's and Walmart allocated more floor space and workers to online pick-up stations and curbside parking.
Walmart, the world's biggest retailer, hired 150,000 workers for the holidays, many of them for these jobs. There were more than 18,000 drive-up parking spaces, more than doubled the number compared to last year.
In November, curbside pickup increased 92% compared to 2019 according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index. 23% of online orders on Nov 23 were for curbside pickup.
Hayden Willis and Grace Lafortune, who are visiting Chicago for Thanksgiving, lined up early on Black Friday before flying home to Seattle despite doing some holiday shopping earlier in the week.
Lafortune, 22, who eyed gifts for Willis' mother and sisters at Bloomingdales, Anthropologie, and Nordstrom Rack, said things are going to be readily available.
As of Nov 23, out-of- stocks messages had already risen 8% compared to the previous week, according to Adobe. Andy Halliwell, senior retail executive at consultancy Publicis Sapient said there were already reported shortages of toys in a number of big sellers in North America and I think you'll see similar shortages in electronics.
According to Adobe, electronics, in short supply due to a global chip shortage, had the highest out-of-stock levels, followed by personal care, home and garden, housekeeping and baby and toddler products.
Instead of seeing eight piled-high boxes of TVs, you might see three or four stacks of TVs. NPD analyst Marshal Cohen said there might be fewer bicycles on the racks.
Many retailers have had to raise prices and cut back on discounts because of higher supply-chain costs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, apparel prices rose by 8.6% through the first 10 months of the year. That is a 0% increase in the first 10 months of 2020 and a 4.7% increase in the first 10 months of 2019. In the 12 months through October, the Consumer Price Index increased by 6.2%.