“If inflation goes up 8 percent and sales go up around 5 percent, there’s no doubt that people will buy less,” said Forrester analyst Sucharita Kodali. It’s hard to see the whole picture.
But there’s also some good news for retailers — it seems more and more people are opening their wallets to find deals ahead of peak gift-giving season.
A record 196.7 million people shopped over the weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. That “exceeded the expectations of 30 million people,” according to Matthew Shay, the trade group’s president and chief executive.
“Black Friday is a very important day, and it continues to be a very important bellwether for consumer psychology and the strength of our economy,” Shea said on a media call Tuesday, adding that the numbers reflect hopeful shoppers. enthusiasm.
E-commerce platform Shopify reported record-breaking sales from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday — 52 million consumers worldwide spent $7.5 billion on Shopify merchants, a 19 percent increase over last year.
Kodali said part of the reason may be that smaller merchants have gained share by using the Internet.
According to Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategy for Prosper Insights and Analytic, the top-performing shopping categories were apparel, toys, gift cards, electronics and media — including books and video games.
The NRF reported that 130 million people shopped online during the weekend, up slightly from 128 million last year. A record 59 percent of people use their phones to shop, up from half last year, Rist said.
“Obviously, there’s been a huge resurgence in in-store shopping this year,” Shay said.
But footfall data from analytics firm Placer.ai found footfall at indoor malls was down 2.3 percent compared with last year, outlet malls were down 3.9 percent and open-air lifestyle centers were down 0.5 percent.
Still, retailers are unlikely to see the same boost as they have seen in the past two quarters — inflation has weighed heavily on household budgets, a volatile stock market has some people’s savings in question, and shopping isn’t as hot as it was last quarter . The height of the pandemic.
In 2020 and 2021, Kodali said, there has been “pent-up demand” following months of shelter-in-place lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Now, as daily life returns to normal for many, people are likely to spend their money on other things, including travel, eating at restaurants and visiting relatives, she said.
Supply chain disruption remains an issue for retailers and shoppers.Pandemic leads to months of major shipping backups, now Imminent threat of rail strike That reignited fears that the freight train outage could have “knock-on effects across the economy,” Shea said.
Retailers have been preparing for a possible strike since September, when a strike was narrowly avoided. But a full shutdown would put pressure on the rest of the supply chain.
“Any slowdowns, shutdowns and delays … will put pressure on other distribution centers that are already struggling to recover from the pandemic,” Shay said.