While the novelty of Black Friday with long predawn lines has faded somewhat with our increasingly online shopping habits, retailers are working overtime to make the experience worth remembering.
Online sales were expected to be $5 billion on Thanksgiving Day. This year the national retail federation expects sales to climb by about 6%.
However, the growth is not expected to keep up with inflation which means many people will be taking home less this year.
“I think Black Friday has morphed into black November,” said Angie Freed, the general manager at Galleria Dallas which held its annual tree lighting on Friday afternoon.
This means shoppers do not have to be in a store on a particular day to see it as a holiday experience.
A look around stores in Galleria Dallas saw a variety of sale signs, some with discounts of 40 to 50 percent, and many shoppers carrying bags. Freed says it’s taken nearly two holiday seasons to get back to what looks and feels normal.
“Last year was still a little affected by COVID and this year I feel like people don’t feel like there’s any barriers,” Freed said. “And they want to get out and do things.”
But how much we’re shopping remains to be seen. Third-quarter national sales figures showed slowing profits even as retailers offered deep discounts as record-high inflation remains a consideration for consumers and businesses.
“I think that people are certainly aware of inflation,” Freed said. “It has produced a segment of our customer base that is value-oriented and they’re looking for bargains.”
Large shopping malls like Galleria Dallas are counting on customers seeking out unique experiences that make memories no matter how much money they spend.