Traditional Black Friday and COVID-19 Concerns Take a Back Seat to
Alternatives to Kick off the Holiday Shopping Season and Inflation Anxiety
Washington, DC, November 16, 2022 — Madison Marquette, a leading private full-service real estate provider, investment manager, developer and operator, today released its report, 2022 Holiday Trends: What’s In, What’s Out, which reveals a radically different year of post-pandemic consumer behaviors and retailer strategies.
“The 2022 shopping landscape is a portrait of the uncertain economic climate rather than COVID-19 concerns,” said Meghann Martindale, Madison Marquette’s Head of Retail Research. “Budget conscious consumers are buying earlier and more carefully as retailers fuel interest by offering deals well in advance of an increasingly irrelevant Black Friday shopping season kickoff.”
According to the analysis, as COVID-19 concerns diminish, consumer spending is being swayed by uncertainties and anxiety about inflation, recession, and geopolitical tension. Black Friday is taking on a new meaning from a shop-to-you-drop identity to one of counter-consumerism ethics. Retailers are offering record promotions and deals to maximize sales to liquidate excess merchandise. At the same time, consumers are relishing a nostalgic return to pre-pandemic normalcy by prioritizing purchases based on value and affordability.
“Today, consumers regard shopping on Black Friday as procrastination, given the pressure they feel to secure gifts and to take advantage of early cost-savings incentives by retailers. The economic red flags are that consumers are buying more on credit and retailers have a glut of products,” said Martindale.
Highlights of four perspectives in 2022 Holiday Trends: What’s In, What’s Out include:
- WHAT’S IN – Sustainable Black Friday Alternatives
Retailers and consumers are seeking alternative ways to kick off the holiday season on Black Friday by focusing spending on eco-friendly products and substitutes to shopping. Black Friday’s waning significance is rooted in the elongation of the promotional selling season and the growing share of digital retail sales. Its spotlight has also dimmed because of a strong cultural shift in values from Black Friday’s and Cyber Monday’s historic consumerism to a desire among shoppers to buy longer-lasting and sustainably made products. According to the Green Alliance, 80% of the items sold on Black Friday end up in landfills, incineration, or low-quality recycling.
- WHAT’S OUT – Traditional Black Friday Doorbusters
The spirit and deals of Black Friday are alive and well, but the elongated selling season and omnichannel shopping are closing the door on the high-volume door-busting sales tradition. Traditional Black Friday shopping has evolved, featuring more intentional purchases and across digital shopping channels, social commerce, and in-store events geared toward in-person brand engagement. The extended shopping season began pre-pandemic largely to compete with Amazon Prime and was exacerbated by pandemic-era supply chain issues, product shortages, and social distancing measures in 2020 and 2021. To capitalize on deals, this year consumers are price tracking earlier than ever and retailers are responding by extending price matching and return timeframes. Target, for example, is offering price guarantees from October 6th to December 24th and will accept returns in January.
- WHAT’S IN – Inflation-driven Retail Sales Growth
The highest inflation in four decades will outpace demand in retail sales growth and is causing a dramatic consumer shift towards value and affordability, and raising concerns about credit reliance. Retail sales growth for the 2022 holiday season will be the result of higher prices, not consumer demand. According to forecasts from Deloitte, Mastercard, and NRF, holiday retail sales (excluding auto and gas) are expected to grow between 3% - 7% year-over-year to more than $1.3 trillion compared to 13% growth in 2021 over 2020. According to the ICSC Holiday Intentions & Forecasts Survey, 89% of shoppers say inflation is impacting holiday purchases. The dominant concern this year to budget-conscious shoppers is rising costs of essentials like rent, vehicles, groceries, gas, energy, and medical services.
- WHAT’S OUT – COVID-19 Concerns
COVID-19 concerns and pandemic-era precautions are gone as retailers and consumers seek a return to holidays-past for the first time in two years. Customers still like the convenience of pandemic-era services like curbside pickup, but affordability is the top priority in 2022 regardless of the fulfillment method, according to Emodo. Holiday markets, caroling and photos with Santa are back in full swing to drive traffic, experience, and a celebratory outlet for budget-conscious consumers.
About Madison Marquette
Madison Marquette is a boutique real estate investment and service firm with a national platform that transforms assets and delivers institutional quality results. We attract clients by reputation and maintain them through performance involving 175 employees in 8 regional offices in U.S. markets coast to coast. Our proven track record over three decades and over $6 billion in investments has earned us a reputation as a leading operator and investor in multiple property types including mixed-use retail, office, multifamily, senior housing, and medical office. Learn more at www.MadisonMarquette.com
Media Contact: Peter Bartelme, 415-664-1503, [email protected]