New York, Nov 26 (EFE).- Long lines of shoppers could be seen in front of retail stores across the United States on Black Friday 2021, reflecting at least a partial return to normal even as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to claim lives and disrupt the supply chain.
Hundreds of people were waiting outside Macy’s flagship store in New York when it opened its doors at 6:00 am after being closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
On the other side of the Hudson River in New Jersey, even the prospect of less-generous discounts as a result of shortages due to supply-chain woes did not deter crowds from flocking to the American Dream Mall.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) forecasts that 64 percent of people will do at least some of their Christmas shopping at brick and mortar stores, a significant increase from 2020.
Even so, projections from Adobe Analytics indicate that online spending will come range from $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion, compared with $9.03 billion last year.
The number of people making purchases over the period extending from Black Friday to Cyber Monday will grow by nearly 2 million from the level in 2020, according to the NRF.
“We’re expecting another record-breaking holiday season this year and Thanksgiving weekend will play a major role as it always has,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.
But analysts say that those record sales in dollar terms will be more the result of higher prices because of shortages than an increase in the volume of transactions.
Anyone wanting to buy a videogame console should be prepared to pay list price and to act quickly was the advice from DealNews.com’s Julie Ramhold.
“You’ll want to purchase that PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X or S as soon as you can get your hands on one. They’ve been hard to keep in stock for the last year, so they’re selling out in the blink of an eye,” she said.
The median discount on home appliances is 8.4 percent, less than half of last year’s figure of 17.2 percent, while the typical price break in the category of sporting goods is 5.9 percent, down from 13 percent in 2020.
Casey Runyan, managing editor at online discount market place Brad’s Deals, said that the supply-chain effect could actually work to the advantage of consumers, as retailers place larger-than-usual orders for popular products.
“At some point, their delayed orders will arrive and they’ll have far more than they need,” she said. “This is where we may see great late deals on marquis items like TVs, brand-name kitchen electronics and toys.” EFE