Bay Area retail expert reveals what to expect for Black Friday this year

ByRyan Curry via KGO logo
Friday, November 25, 2022 2:54AM
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Bay Area retail expert from Santa Clara University reveals what to expect for Black Friday this year.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Black Friday in 2022 is expected to be different than previous years. The National Retail Federation estimates 166.3 million people to be shopping between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, local retail experts expect that number to be lower due to inflation.

"They are saying between 6 and 8%," said Kirthi Kalyanam, Professor of Retail Management at Santa Clara University. "But just look at that number, that sounds like a very healthy growth rate, but it is not when inflation is running 5%. that means you are growing really at 2%."

Kalyanam says to expect shopping to still happen at high levels, but not for every category.

"Anything discretionary that are big ticket items, they are not going to buy," he said. "So these are items they are going to be very cautious about buying."

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Those items, he says, include things like furniture or other in home big items possibly bought during the pandemic. However, he says people will be looking for smaller cheaper items for holiday gifts.

"You still have to enjoy your holiday, and you still have to give your gifts to people," he said. "So if you take out these big items, the non discretionary items, there will still be some risk in those categories."

Another thing different this year is the impact COVID-19 will have on Black Friday. Kalyanam says it is mostly back to normal with some differences.

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"We are where we are, visiting stores again," he said. "And I think there is a misconception about six months to one year ago that the growth in e-commerce was so large that people will stay away from stores, and that is largely not true."

He says outside of the economic impacts on prices, it will feel as close to normal as possible. One thing he says people should keep an eye out for are items being on sale due to large inventory.

"In some cases retailers are overstocked on certain items," he said. "In retail there is a term called cut big and cut deep. That is what you are seeing in some stores, and that is why you are seeing Black Friday-like deals earlier this year."

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