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'Gift giving is at an all-time high', will online shopping impact Black Friday?

Early holiday sales in October set record numbers for retail prices
Posted at 12:25 AM, Nov 21, 2023
  • October 2023 set record numbers early holiday sales compared to previous years. Experts say early sales and online shopping will not impact Black Friday's in-person numbers.
  • Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Kohl's are among other stores that will not be open on Thanksgiving
  • Kohl's at Bay Park Square Mall to open at a.m. on Friday. The mall will open at 6 a.m.

José Chavez, General Manager at Fleet Farm on Green Bay's east side, says all eyes are on the Black Friday craze.
"(We are) getting prepared, getting ready, getting those boots on the ground," Chavez said. "(We are) stacking high and hopefully watching them fly."

Chavez said the store has already had a busy month with the store's Orange Friday deals.

"Orange Friday is the opening weekend for our hunters here in Wisconsin," Chavez said. "You know getting the hunting (products) still out there for them, but really focusing now on our next big tab which is Black Friday."

Not all stores have Orange Friday, but for many retail stores Black Friday sales started back in October.

Global data finds that discounts on average were as high 24% in October.Compare that to 2019 (16.7%) and 2021 (12.9%) and you'll spot the significant difference.

With the October discounts, prices were down 6% compared to 2022 (down .7)

Dr. Ani Pangarkar, assistant professor of marketing at UW-GB, said gift giving is at an all-time high.

Dr. Pangarkar said in 2019 $560 billion were spent on sales, after the pandemic, that number rose $800 billion.

He said it is a result of increased online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic

Has or will that impact the Black Friday in-person craze this year? Dr. Pangarkar said not necessarily.

"In store shopping is not dead," Dr. Pangarkar said. "Retailers have figured out a way to integrate that online and that brick and mortar channels together."

Big crowds are expected at Bay Park Square Mall Friday.

Mall general manager, Tracy Vassallo, said stores are already putting in "extra hours" to prepare and shoppers still look forward to the in-person shopping experience.

"We're finding shoppers love shopping in real life," Vassallo said. "People kind of crave connecting in person and find joy in making holiday shopping at the mall an annual tradition for their family."

Chavez said his team at Fleet Farm looks forward to seeing the in-person numbers on Friday.

Fleet Farm will be closed on Thanksgiving and will open at 5 a.m. on Friday. Bay Park Square Mall will open at 6 a.m. on Friday.

Below is a shortlist of stores that will not be open on Thanksgiving:

  • Best Buy
  • Kohl's
  • Dick's Sporting Goods
  • Macy's
  • Target
  • Costco
  • Walmart