NPD: Black Friday Does Little To Boost In-Store Sales

Despite an increase in foot traffic, consumers maintained a strong grip on their wallets as they shopped for holiday gifts.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
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Black Friday week did little to stem the recent trend of declining in-store sales with revenue for the week of Nov. 26 down 5% year-over-year, according to a new report from The NPD Group. Unit sales for the same week were off 8%. This was the sixth-consecutive week of declines, according to NPD.

“Black Friday appears to have brought more shoppers out to the stores, but that traffic clearly didn’t amount to more spending,” said Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry advisor for NPD. “Retailers and manufacturers need to find new ways to engage the consumer in making purchases, converting consumers from social browsers to active buyers.”

The 2022 Black Friday week underperformed compared to the past three years, only exceeding the sales revenue results during the same week in 2020. This week was also the first time this year that discretionary general merchandise retail sales revenue fell below pre-pandemic 2019 levels (down 9%). 

Beauty was the only industry tracked by NPD where revenue and unit sales both increased during Black Friday week compared to each of the three previous years. Even the typically heavy-selling Black Friday industries, such as technology, toys, and apparel, fell short of last year’s sales performance.

“Compounding the economic pressures on consumers, the absence of new product in the market is a huge challenge for retailers right now,” Cohen said. “The good news is that the traffic is there, which opens the door for impulse purchases and some self-gifting — if the consumer can be persuaded.”