Thanksgiving is here, so is the holiday shopping: a look at the numbers

Image by Kaufdex

This year will not only be different for Thanksgiving, with Americans asked by the CDC to not travel home, but also for the shopping spree.

One of the biggest retailers in the country, Walmart, announced earlier this month they would keep their stores closed on Thursday, a first in 30 years. So is Target, J.C. Penney, Best Buy or Macy’s.

And many retailers decided to start their Black Friday online deals earlier in the month, to avoid an avalanche of customers on Friday.

A banner from with deals the week before Black Friday. Most shops started early with promotions

That shift from physical to online may increase greatly the numbers in Thanksgiving Day for 2020, which usually is the lesser of the three big shopping days (as you can see on the chart below).

Numbers for 2020 will be added once they’re made available

But given that almost every major retailer started making offers since the beginning of the month, and the pandemic at it’s highest in USA, we’ll have to wait to see if this year’s numbers will increase compared to 2019.

If we look at the other major shopping event of this month, Singles Day (11.11) in China, numbers were through the roof.

Similar to US retail stores, this year the shopping festival started at the beginning of the month and ended on the 11th. When usually Alibaba only celebrates it’s online shopping day the 11th.

During that span, more than 2,3 billion orders where made on Alibaba’s platforms.

The gross during those days were of $74,1 billion, according to the Chinese retailer, an increase of a quarter compared to last year who lasted only for one day.

The increase from 2019 to 2020 for Singles Day is the fact that this year it accounted for 11 days instead of one

As we can see, Singles Day has been, for a few years already, the shopping day/event with the highest online sales. Apart from 2020, it’s all in a single day and only online.

To put it in perspective, sales in Thanksgiving week in 2019 (from Thursday to Cyber Monday) were shy of $30 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. Those numbers only reflect online.

A major difference between China and the United States, or Europe for that matter, is that the pandemic is still ravaging Western countries, with some in lockdown (England) or with restrictions (e.g. Spain or France).

This year’s Black Friday won’t be the same with the lockdown still in place in England.

People’s interest in that day as fallen down from 51% pre-lockdown research to 38%, according to PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers).

The age group between 18 to 25, with almost a 40 point drop, has lost the most interest in buying during Black Friday.

A breakdown of each region in the UK about Black Friday

PwC expects a spending decline of 20% from last year; while 88% of shopping on Friday will be online, an increase from the 77% figure of 2019.

People in Northern Ireland are the least interested in Black Friday this year, with less than one in three, whereas the region of North East England, with half of participants, is the most inclined to buy during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Once the numbers for 2020 are available, I’ll update this post.

Data Journalist, with an interest in news about Climate/Energy and Politics mostly.