Black Friday has lost its power to wow shoppers, Conlumino believes

Black Friday has lost its power to wow shoppers, Conlumino believes

US retailers pinning their hopes on a robust Black Friday to boost sales and clear inventory may be disappointed this year, according to new data, which suggests shoppers are losing interest in the event since discounts are available all year round. 

Retail research and consulting firm Conlumino has found that 45% of US consumers intend to spend less during the promotional event - which falls on the first Friday after Thanksgiving (27 November) - than they did last year. Some 18% say they will spend more, while 24% expect to spend the same, and nearly 13% will not shop the event at all. 

"Coming against the backdrop of a general softness in the consumer economy, this will be unwelcome news for many retailers," said Conlumino CEO Neil Saunders. 

But the slowdown is not just related to finance matters, Columino believes. Its recent consumer sentiment data shows while many households are still being careful with spending, 39.4% say their own personal financial circumstances are either good or very good, while 33.5% say they are OK. 

Instead, Conlumino believes the lack of interest seems to be more related to Black Friday losing its power to wow and amaze shoppers. An increase in year-round discounting has, for 71% of Americans, resulted in Black Friday simply becoming less important, while 70% say the whole event is less fun than it used to be. 

Physical stores are also seen as less important, with 62% saying they don't see much point in visiting stores on Black Friday as they can now do their shopping online.

"This isn't about finances, it's more of a psychological shift in how consumers see Black Friday. The truth is that retailers have undermined Black Friday both by discounting all year round and by stretching the event over many weeks. That weakens its appeal and gives rise to a boredom factor. It's like anything in life: the more you get of something, the less you tend to value it."