Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

Black Friday 2021 Prep

Ethan Chernofsky
November 17, 2021
Black Friday 2021 Prep

Black Friday is rapidly approaching, and with it, questions of whether the holiday retail season will fulfill its unique 2021 potential. 

How could the season play out? We dove into the data to break it down.

2020’s Starting Point

Black Friday, known traditionally for the mass outpouring of brick and mortar retail enthusiasm, was better defined in 2020 as ‘what can go wrong, will go wrong’. Following weeks of improvement in overall retail, rising COVID cases in November created severe limitations for even the top offline retailers. As a result, visits were down significantly compared to the year prior.

2021 Rebound?

And though concerns may linger after the difficulties of last year, there are significant reasons for optimism in 2021. While visits were on the decline heading into Black Friday 2020, the timing this year is lining up perfectly. COVID cases are on the decline and retail visits are showing significant strength, likely resulting from pent-up demand for the holiday retail season. 

Looking at overall retail weekly visits shows that traffic has been strong compared to the equivalent weeks in 2019 since the week beginning October 4th. And the four weeks since October 11th have shown an average increase of over 4% compared to their 2019 equivalents – indicating that the pace is actually picking up.

Optimism Reigns?

Looking at top brick and mortar retailers only reinforces the optimism, with Target, Walmart, and Best Buy all showing visits up compared to the equivalent weeks in 2019. Since the week beginning October 4th, Target has averaged a massive weekly visit increase of 12.5% nationwide, while Walmart and Best Buy have seen average increases of 3.3% and 5.9%, respectively.

The traditional traffic crescendo into Black Friday also appears to be intact. Visits to these three retailers have increased consistently week over week since early October, indicating that visits are rising into Black Friday weekend.

And it isn’t just the kings of brick and mortar retail that are seeing strength. Looking at visits to Macy’s and JCPenney on Saturday November 6th and Sunday November 7th shows massive increases in traffic compared to the previous five weekends. This further deepens the notion that the holiday season offers unique potential in the brick and mortar environment, but also that the normal seasonality of the holiday season with its standard Black Friday peak could reappear. It also shows that key days off still provide an outsized draw for retail visits.

But one big question that does remain unanswered is whether the early visit jumps indicate that visitors are looking to finish with their holiday shopping earlier than usual. Should this hold true, the potential does exist for lower Black Friday numbers, even though the wider holiday season could see a boost.

Mall Performance 

A final area to watch is the mall sector – the home for many top tier apparel and beauty brands. Monthly visits for the Placer Mall Index – which analyzes visits for 100 top tier malls throughout the country – shows that visits were up in October compared to the same month in 2019. 

And while sustaining that comparative growth will be especially challenging in November and December, visits do appear to be picking up heading into the heart of the holiday season. Apart from the week beginning October 25th, visits have been rising week over week since late September. This is especially important as mall success could equal a lift for the brands across the apparel, dining, and entertainment spaces that are heavily embedded in the format.

Will the holiday season witness a renewed Black Friday vigor? Will the wider season succeed even as this key shopping day takes a step back? 

Visit to find out.

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Office Index: January 2023 Recap
Focusing On Fitness: Q4 and January Recap Mall Index: January 2023 – Returning Mall Normalcy?
Location Intelligence Insights Into Concert Attendance
Winning Dining Strategies for 2023
In-N-Out Burger: What to Expect as the Brand Moves East
Location Intelligence Breakdown: Coffee Caps-Off 2022
Digitally Native Brands Lean Into Brick & Mortar
Washington, D.C. Population Changes & Migration Trends
A Location Intelligence Perspective on Macy’s Rightsizing
Amazon-Powered Shopping: The Future of Brick-and-Mortar Grocery?
Cold Weather, Hot Visits: Diving into Winter Resorts
Wawa and 7-Eleven: Leaning Into the “Slurpee Effect”
2022 and Beyond: Catching Up With McDonald’s & Chipotle
Let’s Have Some Fun! Going Out Is In’s Q4 2022 Quarterly Index Adds Industry Executives to Leadership Team To Drive Company's Next Phase of Growth
5 Emerging Retail Formats: 2023’s Brick-and-Mortar Evolution
Grocery Update: Zooming in on the Lone Star State
2022 Office Recap: The Year of the TGIF Work Week
What Lies Ahead for Brick-and-Mortar Luxury in 2023 Mall Indexes: December 2022 Recap
Looking Back on 2022’s Holiday Shopping Season
Post-Pandemic Migration Trends in New York
Top Retailers for 2023
The Live Sports Advertising Opportunity
Domestic Migration to the Mountain States: Small Shifts with Big Implications
New Year, New Food: 5 Dining Trends For 2023
This is Why Shop-in-Shops Are Everywhere
Super Saturday 2022 Recap
The San Francisco Shift
Grocery Year-End Update: Publix in the Spotlight
Three Ways Retailers Can Think Small to Increase Store Impact
Offline Beauty Is on an Upswing
The Evolving Migration Patterns of New York’s Florida Snowbirds Office Index: November 2022 Recap
How Viral Social Media Trends Can Drive Offline Engagement
Are You Ready for Some Football? Experiential Marketing Shows Promise
Mall and Shopping Center Trends For 2023
Retail Corridors and Indoor Malls: A Holiday Head-to-Head
Placer Bytes: Nike, lululemon, and GameStop Update Mall Indexes: November 2022 Update
Black Friday 2022: Consumers Hear the Call
Digitally Native Brands: Taking Off, Offline
Discount and Dollar Stores Leading the Pack
Turkey Wednesday 2022
Retail’s Evolving Holiday Season
Placer Bytes: Starbucks and Department Stores Ahead of Black Friday
Ulta: A Force to be Reckoned With
College Towns Drive Dining Growth
Foot Traffic Trends Reveal Consumers Ready for Holiday Cheer
How Retailers Can Win Big By Going Small
How Are Consumers Feeling Ahead of Black Friday 2022?
Off-Price, Hibbett, and Dick’s Pre-Holiday Check-in
Ho, Ho, Wholesale: Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s
October 2022’s Retail Rebound
Target and Walmart Ahead of the Holidays
Home Improvement: Leave it to the Pros
Despite Inflation, Holiday Season is Off to a Good Start Office Index: October 2022 Recap Mall Indexes- October 2022 Update
Americans Double Down on Fitness
The State of Grocery
CVS and Walgreens: The Wave Continues
Coffee Chains Brewing Up Visits Spotlight: Pizza Players
What Drove COVID-Era Urban Migration Trends?
Kroger and Albertsons: A Merging of Strengths
Texas Roadhouse Innovations Dishing Up Success
Holidays on the Horizon: Mid-Range and Luxury Shopping
McDonald's and Chipotle's Post-Pandemic Success
Announcing’s Q3 2022 Quarterly Index
5 Hot Restaurant Brands for 2023
Target Finds a Winning Deals Day Formula
Five Trends to Watch for 2022’s Holiday Shopping Season
September 2022 Analysis: A Difficult Month and Time for Optimism
Inflation’s Retail Winners
Five Apparel Retailers to Watch Ahead of the Holidays Spotlight: Wawa’s QSR Pivot Mall Indexes: September 2022 Recap Office Indexes: September 2022 Recap
The Impact of Population Growth on Commercial Real Estate 
Starbucks' New Makeover
There's Somethin' About Pumpkin
Expanding Offline Reach
Breakfast Restaurants are Rising in Popularity
The Power of Labor Day 2022
Tourism in Miami Heating Up
Citi Trends on the Rise
Reaching Rural Consumers Through Retail Media Network
Darden Restaurants Cooking Up Success
The Home Improvement Sector: A Sign of Consumer Confidence
QSR Is Having a Northeastern Growth Spurt
Domestic Migration’s Ripple Effects
A Look Back at Back To School 2022
Kroger Digital Tell-All
The Return of In-Person Networking
The Reinvention of the American Mall Office Building Indexes: August 2022 Recap