Black Friday Breaks Revenue Record As Consumers Endure High Inflation
Howard Schnapp/Newsday RM via Getty Images

Black Friday revenues topped previous records despite elevated inflation and other economic tensions, according to data from Adobe Analytics.

Businesses earned $9.1 billion in revenues on Black Friday, according to the computer software company’s business product. Americans are slated to spend $210 billion this season, exceeding the $205 billion spent in 2021 and the $188 billion spent in 2020. Among the most popular Black Friday products were Apple Macbook computers and the Xbox Series X console, while shoppers could expect the best average discounts for computers, appliances, and televisions.

Purchasing activity during the holiday shopping season has continued to expand every year since the lockdown-induced recession, although growth rates are expected to fall from 32% in 2020 and 8.6% in 2021 to 2.5% this year.

Another estimate from the National Retail Foundation concluded that overall holiday retail sales in the United States are expected to grow between 6% and 8% since last year to possibly surpass $960 billion. “While consumers are feeling the pressure of inflation and higher prices, and while there is continued stratification with consumer spending and behavior among households at different income levels, consumers remain resilient and continue to engage in commerce,” National Retail Federation CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release. “In the face of these challenges, many households will supplement spending with savings and credit to provide a cushion and result in a positive holiday season.”

Although the higher revenues could surpass the 4.9% annual increase typically seen over the past decade, the expansion will be largely eclipsed by inflation, which increased year-over-year at a 7.7% rate as of last month, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Rising price levels also impacted families preparing Thanksgiving meals, which have risen 20% in cost since last year, according to data from the American Farm Bureau Association.

Winners from the critical Black Friday shopping push include Lululemon, Victoria’s Secret, and American Eagle, according to an investor note shared by Morgan Stanley, while losing brands include Hollister and Banana Republic. Successful firms garnered the attention of shoppers by maintaining assortments that resonated with consumers.

Real average hourly earnings had declined 2.8% year-over-year as of last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, implying that many Americans are utilizing savings and credit schemes, such as buy-now-pay-later solutions, during the present holiday season. Boston Consulting Group indeed said in a report that as many as 47% of customers are “already spending their savings on day-to-day expenses” and 20% “expect their disposable income to deteriorate in the next six months.”

Approximately 39% of respondents to a survey published by the consulting firm will “buy more at discounters or value retailers,” while 51% plan to “cut back on nonessential purchases” and 48% may “go out less to save money.” The majority of respondents expressed an intent to participate in Black Friday and said they would more strongly emphasize bargain hunting.

The United States was the only developed country evaluated by Boston Consulting Group to increase spending despite economic woes. German and French shoppers were forecasted to spend 15% less, while their counterparts in the United Kingdom will spend 18% less as soaring energy prices induced by low renewable power output and the Russian invasion of Ukraine scourge the continent’s economy.

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