E-commerce killing Black Friday

The number of people in the stores on notorious shopping day down in 2015.

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The number of people in brick-and-mortar stores on the most notorious shopping day of the year was down in 2015.

What’s killing Black Friday? Internet shopping.

Holiday sales won’t necessarily drop along with the size of the crowds. It’s just that holiday spending is now spread over many more weeks, and a lot of it has moved online.

So what’s the future of Thanksgiving and Black Friday? Retail analysts are split.

Mara Devitt, a partner at Chicago-based retail consulting firm McMillanDoolittle, thinks Black Friday could once again become a big day for brick-and-mortar shopping as retailers back away from Thanksgiving-day openings. Online sales will help make up for those Thursday in-store sales, anyway.

(READ MORE: OregonLive.com)

Additionally, customers have become jaded with the Black Friday circus. (And, for good reason, as the Oregonian has a “6 videos of Black Friday brawlers” on its front page this morning.)

Retail is shifting rapidly, he notices. The old model of heading to the mall and driving home with a trunkload of packages is being diluted by online sales and a sense of discernment in middle and upper middle class people. Black Friday is a victim of that.

“Black Friday is becoming much less of a thing. Quite a few retailers are moving to the omnichannel model. They’re asking ‘How do we touch our customers 24/7?’” says Gillpatrick.

(READ MORE: Portland Tribune)

In an unscientific Internet poll by Oregon Business, 89% of respondents said they wouldn’t be shopping on Black Friday.

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