Black Friday Looks A Little Washed Out This Year

Black Friday Looks A Little Washed Out This Year

over 1 year ago2 mins

US shoppers were gearing up to spend big in this year’s post-Thanksgiving sales, but folk across Europe seemed dead set against any festive splurges, according to research carried out by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

What does this mean?

Jolly Americans weren’t going to let any turkey-induced bloating stop them from splashing out on seasonal discounts this year: researchers at BCG reckon they’re poised to spend about 6% more than they did back in 2021, despite the grimmer economic outlook. But that bargain-hunting zeal didn’t seem to have spread across the pond, where Brits and other Europeans were slashing budgets by up to 20%. That news will have dampened the spirits of store-owners, who were probably hoping that a recent uptick in retail sales would turn into a longer-term trend.

Holiday spending survey

Why should I care?

The bigger picture: Retail’s not so seasonal.

Black Friday’s commonly seen as the time when retailers swing into profit, but the last quarter of the year isn’t as outsized as you might assume. A US Census Bureau study from 2019, the last pre-pandemic year, found that even stores stocking the most seasonal products, like games and toys, brought in only around a third of their sales in the period. And for retailers selling products like sporting goods or electronics, it was even less. So a holiday miracle might plump up sales and profit, but it’s far from the be-all and end-all.

For markets: Santa Claus is coming to town.

The Santa Claus rally might sound like some kind of yuletide parade, but the term actually refers to a well-known stock market quirk: shares tend to nudge higher around New Year’s, typically rising by about 1.5%. And sure, a rally that small might not seem like anything to write home about, but on the back of a recent recovery in US stocks, it could be a warming winter tipple to help thaw a chilly 2022.

Santa Claus rally
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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