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U.S. Black FridayIn an impressive demonstration of consumer resilience and evolving shopping patterns, the United States witnessed a remarkable increase in Black Friday retail sales, according to the latest data from Mastercard SpendingPulse™. The day, historically pivotal for retailers, saw a significant +2.5% year-over-year growth in sales, excluding automotive, even when not adjusted for inflation.

This surge in retail activity builds on the double-digit growth experienced in 2022, showcasing a robust consumer market. Notably, Jewelry and Apparel emerged as the top gift sectors, indicating a shift towards more tangible, personal gift choices. E-commerce sales also saw a substantial jump of +8.5% year-over-year, reflecting the ongoing preference for online shopping.

Steve Sadove, a senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated, expressed optimism about the trend. “Consumers are navigating the holiday season well and taking advantage of holiday promotions, giving them ample choice as they hunt for gifts for everyone on their list,” he said. Sadove also highlighted the savvy shopping strategies employed by consumers, such as using multiple channels and digital tools to maximize value while spending time with loved ones.

Key trends of the day included a notable increase in e-commerce sales, with consumers opting to shop for deals online to avoid crowds. This was further influenced by several sporting events broadcasted on Black Friday, which provided an appealing option for game day viewers to shop from the comfort of their homes or gathering spots. In-store sales also saw a modest increase of +1.1% year-over-year.

The festive spirit extended beyond shopping, with many consumers gathering with friends and family for shared meals, contributing to the continuous growth in the Restaurant sector. Retailers, adapting to these changing consumer habits, began their Black Friday promotions early in the month, allowing shoppers more time to seek out the best deals.

Despite the inclination towards experiential gifts in recent years, this season marked a return to physical gifts, with Jewelry and Apparel leading the way. However, Department Store sales, as well as Furniture and Furnishings, lagged in comparison to other sectors from the previous year.

In conclusion, the Black Friday sales of 2023 in the U.S. have not only reinforced the resilience of the retail sector but also highlighted the evolving nature of consumer preferences and shopping habits. As the holiday season progresses, these trends are likely to shape the future of retail and consumer behaviour.




Written by: Matthew Thomas