Sensormatic Solutions, which employs cameras to measure in-store retail foot traffic, reported shopper visits resulted in a 52.1 percent decline in traffic on Black Friday, November 27, compared to 2019. Shopper traffic also decreased by 45.2 percent week-to-date (Sunday, November 22 to Friday, November 27) compared to the same period last year.
“Due to COVID-19 and social distancing requirements, shoppers were more purposeful in their in-person Black Friday shopping causing significantly less crowds than we’ve seen in the past,” said Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting, Sensormatic Solutions. “This was compounded by retailers not offering as many in-store doorbusters and the increasing adoption of eCommerce.”
While many retailers limited Black Friday hours compared to non-pandemic years, the peak time for shopping remained the same, with the busiest influx of footfall at 2 p.m.
Traffic On Thanksgiving Day
Visits to physical stores on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, decreased by 94.9 percent compared 2019.
“Although traffic on Thanksgiving Day has risen in recent years, we are not surprised to see the departure from this trend in 2020,” said Field. “Many well-known retailers elected to close on Thanksgiving this year to prevent crowds in stores and give their hard-working employees more time with their families. Additionally, with Black Friday deals being spread throughout the holiday season, the typical holiday traffic peaks are flattening, with more days sharing importance throughout the season.”
The Rest of the Holiday Season
“As we approach Super Saturday, December 19, and corresponding shipping deadlines, we expect to see some of the in-store traffic that didn’t materialize on Black Friday appear as consumers wrap up their holiday shopping and make last-minute purchases,” said Field.
Sensormatic Solutions expects the 10 busiest days in 2020 to account for 34.2 percent of all holiday traffic as compared to 46.5 percent in 2019