Hunting for discounts in American malls the day after Thanksgiving Thursday has long been a national sport.
But this year the Covid-19 got the better of "Black Friday", just like the rest of the frantic shopping weekend.
We can see that half as many Americans than last year have gone shopping in recent days.
And for good reason: the rat race in dense crowds, agglutinated in department stores, characteristic of the first days of shopping marking the start of the end-of-year shopping season, is the very antithesis of the advocated social distancing. by the American authorities.
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On the other hand, online purchases jumped at the same time by 22%, according to Adobe Analytics.
Black Friday alone represented $ 9 billion in sales this year for Amazon and its followers.
This last Monday in November which follows the traditional “Black Friday” is called “Cybermonday”.
Historically, it aims to reproduce on online sales platforms the frenzy triggered by the exceptional discounts from department stores the day after Thanksgiving.
2019 record of $ 9.4 billion
This year the report on e-commerce having started on Thursday, “Cybermonday” is relatively less attractive.
You could even say that this day actually started four days earlier.
In a few hours we will know if the record of 9.4 billion dollars in online sales, reached during the 2019 edition of Cybermonday has been broken in 2020.
No longer in terms of the number of visitors, but from the point of view of the sales volume, the decline is certainly less dramatic, but spectacular: it is of the order of 30% all categories of items combined.
The declines were most marked in clothing, footwear and jewelry, with drops of over 50% according to RetailNext.
It is far too early to take stock of year-end sales in the United States.
However, two new trends are emerging and making traders optimistic.
The first relates to the extension of the promotion period.
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Now Americans start buying their Christmas presents in October.
Confined, they had more time to do so in 2020. They also wanted to prevent problems with delivery delays.
The surge in e-commerce has indeed created bottlenecks in home delivery networks.
The United States Post, in particular, has yet to overcome the trauma of the pandemic.
As for delivery people, they are sometimes just as difficult to recruit that it has become complicated to find delivery vans as well ...
Second unexpected trend, especially in the current context of crisis and high unemployment: Americans whose incomes are low. have not suffered too much, are spending more and more on goods, as they now travel very little and no longer go out to restaurants or to the cinema.
This explains why the National Retail Federation, a professional body for retail traders, is counting this year on an increase in end-of-year purchases of between 3.6% and 5.2%.
These gains should be compared to a historical average of 3.5%, without forgetting that last year, before the pandemic raged, Americans euphorized by near-full employment had spent 4% more than in 2018.