Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

Black Friday Weekend 2021 Recap

Ethan Chernofsky
December 6, 2021
Black Friday Weekend 2021 Recap

Yes, Black Friday marks the height of the holiday season – but the day itself can hardly be taken in isolation. For critical context, we took a look at the wider weekend to see how different the holiday season in 2021 has been.

Mall Performance - Impressive in Relative Terms

Looking at the Mall Index on Black Friday alone showed visits to indoor malls down just 8.5% compared to 2019, while visits were down 9.2% for outdoor malls. And while the visits marked a significant peak for malls and retailers, looking at the wider weekend metrics paints an even rosier picture.

Black Friday declines were driven in part by retailers’ efforts to drive a more extended holiday season. The clearest example of this is the increase in visits many shopping centers, malls, and retailers have seen earlier in the season. Yet, even within this context, Black Friday weekend’s impact on retail visits was clear. While visits to the Mall Index were down 8.5% compared to 2019 on Black Friday, the weekend from Friday to Sunday saw visits down just 4.9%, largely due to visit strength on Sunday and a more limited decline on Saturday. The important takeaway here is that while the extended holiday retail season may have limited Black Friday peaks, it could still drive greater overall success.

Retailer Performances

A similar trend was seen across the retail landscape. While Nordstrom and Macy’s saw visits down 18.6% and 18.0%, respectively, on Black Friday compared to 2019, the declines over the wider weekend was just 13.0% for Nordstrom and 13.9% for Macy’s. 

The trend also held for the Off Price retail sector, which saw some of the strongest results on Black Friday compared to 2019. Black Friday visits to T.J. Maxx, Burlington and HomeGoods increased by 2.9%, 0.4% and 7.6% respectively. And for the overall weekend, visits were up 7.7% for T.J. Maxx, 6.0% for Burlington, and 13.2% for HomeGoods. 

Interestingly though, Walmart did buck this trend. Like most of the retail landscape, superstore counterpart Target saw a stronger performance for the overall weekend than it did on Black Friday in isolation. Yo2Y visits went from -3.1% on Black Friday compared to 2019 to -2.2% for the wider weekend - again indicating a strong jump on Sunday. Yet, Walmart saw visits go from a 2.8% increase on Black Friday to just a 0.4%  increase compared to 2019 for the wider weekend. The interesting takeaway here is that Walmart was one of the very few brands able to sustain the traditional centrality and urgency around Black Friday itself.

Black Friday Weekend’s Biggest Winner

But it is impossible to talk about Black Friday weekend without discussing the brand that dominates it most - Starbucks. Starbucks saw a huge surge in visits on Black Friday and Black Friday weekend compared to 2019. Visits for the day itself were up 26.5% while visits for the weekend were up 25.2%.

The coffee giant consistently drives huge visits on Black Friday because of the complementary nature of its offering. A day full of shopping requires at least one pit stop to refuel, and Starbucks is ideally positioned to answer that need. Yet, the success also speaks to the unique nature of the 2021 holiday season. In the past, the brand likely played a complementary role - helping bring a buzz to those in the midst of a full day out shopping. However, in 2021, the day out experience itself was a key part of the Black Friday draw. From that perspective, the full range of offerings - from food to entertainment to apparel - were part of the force that pulled customers into malls and shopping centers, and so Starbucks played a much more central role in shaping the Black Friday experience this year than in years past. 

How will the rest of the holiday season unfold and which retailers will benefit most? 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.
4 Strategies Retailers are Using to Drive Traffic to Their Venues
5 Key Regional Grocery Players Impressing in 2023
Upscale Kitchenware Trending Up
Costco Finds More Room for Growth
Four C-Store Chains Making an A-Grade
National Parks + Outdoor Summer Activities
Diving Into Darden: Summer 2023 Update
The Summer Event Effect
Messi: Massive in Miami
Looking Back on Back to School 2023
The Anchor Recap: August 2023 Office Index: August 2023 Recap Mall Index: August 2023 Recap White Paper Recap: August 2023
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Strikes Again
Big Scoop: We All Scream For Ice Cream
Sports Away: Lululemon & Nike’s Momentum Continues
Summer Visits Heat Up For Recreation and Outdoor Gear Chains
No CSS overwrite - July 2023 Office Index Recap
Staging - August 2023 Mall Indec
Mid-Atlantic Grocery Deep Dive
Experiential Chains Heating Up This Summer
Petco Goes Big by Going Small
Ulta Beauty: Leading the Discretionary Pack
Discount and Dollar Chains Continue to Thrive
Summer of Sports: DICK’s Sporting Goods and Hibbett Sports
Off-Price: Succeeding Into Summer
The Anchor Recap: July 2023
Superstores Maintaining Pandemic Gains Amidst Economic Headwinds
2023: Home Improvement at the Halfway Point
July 2023 Office Index Recap Mall Index: July 2023 Recap
widget test
The Taylor Swift Visit Lift
Southwestern Grocery Dive
July 2023 White Paper Recap: Halfway Point Review & Quarterly Index
Yum! Brands: Driving Dining Visits
Slurpees and Summer Movies Stimulate Consumer Foot Traffic
Cool Beans: Summer Coffee Update
Checking In on Back to School 2023
Crocs and New Balance Tip The Scales
Burger Bliss: Shake Shack and In-N-Out Stacking Visits
Chipotle & McDonald's Continue to Reign Supreme
Vibenomics and Partner to Enhance Retail Media In-Store Measurement
California Grocers Here We Come!
Marriott’s Different Audiences
Bonchon and Kura Sushi Thrive in the Fast-Casual Scene
A Shoe In: Footwear Climbs to the Top
Cheers! Raising a Glass to Beverage Retail Office Index: June 2023 Recap Mall Index June 2023 Recap – A Turn of the Tide and a Dive into Open-Air Lifestyle Centers
Local Kitchens: Redefining the Restaurant
Unlocking Urban Insights: The Value in Manhattan’s Employees
Ohio State Parks On The Rise
How is Inflation Impacting the High-Income Shoppers?
Five Fast-Growing Dining Chains
What To Expect From Prime Day and July Sales Events in 2023
The State Of Fashion: How Are Apparel Retailers Faring in 2023?
2023’s Latest Dining Success Story: GEN Korean BBQ House
The NBA Finals: A Location Intelligence Perspective
Moving the Market: The Impact of Domestic Migration on Housing Costs
Post-Pandemic Museum Update
The Darden-est Things
The Enduring Demand for Urban and Suburban Retail
Leveraging Data to Evaluate the Impact of Municipal Investments
Trader Joe's Success Amidst Food Inflation and Changing Consumer Behavior Office Index: May 2023 Recap
Fitness at its Fittest: Staying Strong in 2023
Movie Theaters, Off-Price, and Home Improvement: May 2023 Recap Mall Index - May 2023 Recap
What’s Working for Bath & Body Works?
Why Are Specialty Grocers Thriving in 2023?
The CAVA Craze: A Location Intelligence Perspective on the Mediterranean Marvel
How Will Primark’s US Expansion Impact Target?
All Eyes on Eyewear
Northwestern U.S. Grocery Dive
Return of the Lunch: Salad Chains Are Thriving
Retail Media Networks – Off the Beaten Track
Bet Your Bottom Dollar: Discount and Dollar Stores Drive Foot Traffic
Ulta & Lululemon: Discretionary Spending On The Up
The Score After Q1: Sporting Goods Chains
Who Uses NYC Airports: Biting Into The Big Apple’s Main Transport Hubs
Off Price: Strength in The Face of Retail Challenges
Visits Improve for Home Improvement
Walmart, Target & Wholesalers in Q1 2023 – The Return of Mission-Driven Shopping?
Department Store Roundup: Q1 2023 Office Index: April 2023 Recap Mall Index, April 2023 – A Rebound on the Horizon?
How Will Bed Bath & Beyond’s Bankruptcy Impact the Retail Space?
Buffet Restaurants: Filling Up on Foot Traffic
Thrift Stores: Vintage Visits Drive New Age in Apparel
The Windy City: A Hub of Post-Pandemic Opportunity
Diving into Dining Traffic - Q1 2023
Bring On The Joe
A Dollar (or more) For Your Thoughts: Five Below and pOpshelf
Dining Out With The Cheesecake Factory
Retail Foot Traffic Recap – March 2023
Digging Into 2023: McDonald’s and Chipotle Update Office Index: March 2023 Recap
How Did Key Retail Categories Perform in Q1 2023?