ShopperTrak, a Tyco Retail Solutions brand, has released preliminary shopper visit data for brick-and-mortar retail stores on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, finding that shopper visits declined a combined 1.6 percent when compared to the same days in 2016. Black Friday 2017 shopper visits decreased less than one percent when compared to Black Friday 2016.
“There has been a significant amount of debate surrounding the shifting importance of brick-and-mortar retail, and the fact that shopper visits remained intact on Black Friday illustrates that physical retail is still highly relevant and, when done right, profitable,” says Brian Field, senior director of advisory services for ShopperTrak.
“This year, a greater number of brick-and-mortar retailers opted to close on Thanksgiving Day, which not only allowed store associates to be with their families, but it also redistributed shopping visits to surrounding days,” adds Field. “Based on several years of overall retail traffic data, we know that opening on Thanksgiving Day was merely pulling shopping visits from Black Friday, as opposed to creating an additional opportunity for shoppers to hit the stores. By remaining closed on Thanksgiving Day, retailers are able to redistribute visits to the days before Thanksgiving Day, as well as this weekend. Further, remaining closed on Thanksgiving Day also contributes to lower overhead and increased goodwill.”
Looking ahead, eight of the 10 anticipated busiest shopping days still remain, including Super Saturday, which will fall on Dec. 23. Importantly, there are four Saturdays in December prior to Christmas Day, and this will elevate the importance of both Dec. 23 and Dec. 16, alike. Additionally, Dec. 30, which did not rank as one of the ten busiest days in 2016, is expected to be the ninth busiest day of the year because it falls on a Saturday.