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Black Friday loses some luster as shoppers turn out to hunt scarce deals – CNBC

Summary

Department stores get some love this Black Friday, according to retail analyst

People shop at the Polaris Fashion Place mall during Black Friday on November 26, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio.

Matthew Hatcher | Getty Images

Department stores are getting some love from shoppers this Black Friday, after getting pummeled by the pandemic from lengthy closures and bankruptcies.

Retail analyst Deborah Weinswig noticed the stores had surprisingly stron…….

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Department stores get some love this Black Friday, according to retail analyst

People shop at the Polaris Fashion Place mall during Black Friday on November 26, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio.

Matthew Hatcher | Getty Images

Department stores are getting some love from shoppers this Black Friday, after getting pummeled by the pandemic from lengthy closures and bankruptcies.

Retail analyst Deborah Weinswig noticed the stores had surprisingly strong amounts of foot traffic when she visited malls in the Providence, Rhode Island and Boston area. Weinswig, the CEO and founder of Coresight Research, said she overheard some shoppers commenting on bargains at JCPenney, a department store that was pushed to file for bankruptcy during the global health crisis.

She had a few other observations, too: Traffic seemed stronger at malls versus off-mall locations. Out-of-stocks were common among hard home goods and basic apparel items, such as denim and underwear. And customers appeared to be nearing the end of their gift lists — in some cases, focusing instead on buying items for themselves.

Across the board, she said, deals seemed hard to come by due to low inventory levels and inflation.

Other indicators point toward a good day for department stores. Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette said early Friday that more people shopped at its stores on the shopping holiday than a year ago, after a wave of online shopping on Thanksgiving day.

Another source of data, Mastercard SpendingPulse, said early indicators Friday morning suggested “a solid start” for department stores, too. The company tracks all forms of payment, including cash and check.

—Melissa Repko

Discounting is down at most retailers, but up at some spots, according to research note

A person enters a Bed Bath & Beyond store on October 01, 2021 in the Tribeca neighborhood in New York City.

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

Promotions at Bed Bath & Beyond are up, but most retailers’ levels of discounting are down this Black Friday compared with a year ago, according to a research note by Jefferies.

The equity research firm analyzed Black Friday deals at more than 20 different retailers in the home category. It found a noticeable difference with the sales of years’ past, as many retailers have leaner inventory or more pricing power due to supply chain challenges and strong consumer demand for goods.

Bed Bath is offering 25% off this year versus last year when it offered 25% off in-store & curbside pickup and 20% off online last year.

At Wayfair, on the other hand, promotions are mostly down, according to Jefferies’ analysis. Of the 15 categories that it advertised last Black Friday and this Black Friday, 60% had less discounting, 33% were flat, and one was up. Some of the categories with fewer discounts are holiday decor, lighting, outdoor furniture and kitchen upgrades. It found that the only category with more promotions was major appliances, with prices that start at $300 versus $399 …….

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/26/black-friday-2021-live-updates-latest-news-sales-and-deals.html