Retail Forecast: Black Friday, Cyber Monday & Beyond
In a special Bloomberg Thanksgiving Day Worldwide Broadcast with John Tucker, Burt Flickinger discussed the retail outlook for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and beyond, including a projected market decline in mall and shopping center foot traffic as wage increases are consumed by inflation, dock & transport issues continue, and COVID-related concern about in-store shopping linger, especially among Millennials. Burt's alma mater, PricewaterhouseCoopers, reports only 43% will shop in stores on Black Friday, with the balance shopping online, 55% at fewer stores & 56% at independently owned & operated stores. Walmart predicts a flat to negative Black Friday weekend as more shop locally, from groceries to gifts. While consumers are resorting to bots to find out-of-stock toys, clothing is still the #1 holiday gift category, potentially eclipsed by gift cards because of out-of-stocks. Lowes, Tractor Supply and Home Depot are leading with same store sales increases as people buy for living, working and educating at home. Looking ahead to the New Year, Burt sees a record number of labor strikes and continued shortages, leading to higher prices.