November 20, 2023
Black Friday shopping has become a holiday all its own in the U.S. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving that marks the beginning of the holiday retail shopping season, and it often kicks off with some of the best in-store and online shopping deals of the year for consumers.
For retailers, it is also the beginning of a make-or-break shopping season. Nearly 13% of all retail sales in the U.S. occur between Black Friday and Christmas. It is a hugely important time for retailers as businesses made an estimated $65.3 billion during the 2022 Black Friday sales.
Last year, a record 196.7 million Americans shopped in stores and online during the five-day holiday shopping period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. The total number of shoppers grew by nearly 17 million from 2021 and is the highest figure since NRF first started tracking this data in 2017.
The NRF forecasts that holiday spending this year is expected to reach record levels during November and December and will grow between 3% and 4% over 2022 to between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion.
“It is not surprising to see holiday sales growth returning to pre-pandemic levels,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Overall household finances remain in good shape and will continue to support the consumer’s ability to spend.”
Online shopping has been one of the biggest shifts in consumer behavior from the COVID-19 pandemic. Online and other non-store sales, which are included in the total, are expected to increase between 7% and 9% to a total of between $273.7 billion and $278.8 billion. That figure is up from $255.8 billion last year.
“Consumers remain in the driver’s seat and are resilient despite headwinds of inflation, higher gas prices, stringent credit conditions and elevated interest rates,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “We expect spending to continue through the end of the year on a range of items and experiences, but at a slower pace. Solid job and wage growth will be contributing factors this holiday season, and consumers will be looking for deals and discounts to stretch their dollars.”
To meet the demand of the holiday season, NRF expects retailers will hire between 345,000 and 450,000 seasonal workers, in line with 391,000 seasonal hires in 2022. Some of this hiring may have been pulled into October to support retailers’ holiday-buying events in October.
NRF’s latest holiday survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, which is separate from the holiday sales forecast, shows 43% of holiday shoppers planned to start making purchases before November. The survey also found consumers plan to spend $875 on core holiday items including gifts, decorations, food and other holiday-related purchases this year.
Not surprisingly, there are several publicly traded companies retail shareholders can invest in to tap into Black Friday sales. Companies that stand to benefit most from the Black Friday boom include Amazon (Tii:AMZN), Target (Tii:TGT), Walmart (Tii:WMT), Kohl’s (Tii:KSS), Best Buy (Tii:BBY) and Apple (Tii:AAPL).
TiiCKER was created for fan-first, brand-first public companies—with exclusive perks served-up weekly to shareholders. Own stock? Connect your brokerage account to view more than 130 perks waiting for you right now!