Is Black Friday dying? Experts, shoppers say yes

Long lines were few on the big shopping day, and experts say Black Friday is fading into history.

There were long lines in front of stores on Thanksgiving.

"Oh it was a madhouse,” says shopper Bob Kuzminski. “There was a ton of people in here last night. We came pretty late and there was a lot of people in here."

What did he say it was like on Black Friday?

 "Good, actually slower today than it was yesterday. I think it’s a lot easier today.

Some pro-Black Friday shoppers say it's no secret the shopping holiday is dying.

Jennifer Shoup says she’s been a Black Friday shopper for "20 years … and the last couple have been very disappointing. Because (other shoppers) took it all the day before."

Fellow shopper Zoey Argraves agrees. "Everybody does their shopping on Thursdays so Fridays are like nothing. It’s not what it used to be. Definitely not."

A new Accenture survey shows a few reasons why. Sales are starting earlier– as in Nov. 1. And consumers are bargain hunting for gifts all year round from companies like Amazon.

The survey also says 52 percent of people say they are less likely to shop on Black Friday this year because shopping online is that much easier.

"I think because you can buy everything online so people don't feel like going to the store so they just buy everything online,” says shopper Wendy Harris.

Despite changing tastes in how and when consumers buy, the National Retail Federation estimates 115 million people are shopping on Black Friday.

But will that be enough to save brick-and-mortar retailers?

According to Fung Global Retail And Technology, almost 7,000 store closures happened in 2017, about 3 times than those in 2016.  And we're likely to see more closures as retailers shift their focus online.

"Everybody looked forward to Black Friday,” Shoup says. “And it’s no longer that anymore.
 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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