As the list of retail stores planning to close on Thanksgiving this year grows, researchers at Placer.ai looked at foot traffic data trends for Black Friday to see if sales could be recouped then. So far this year, the roster of stores planning to close on Thanksgiving include Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Bed, Bath & Beyond, among others.
“For all of the brands analyzed, Black Friday was one of the top-performing days annually each year from 2017 to 2019,” Placer.ai said, adding that by location, Aventura Mall in Florida and Woodbury Common in New York had the highest day for overall Black Friday visits in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
“However, Placer.ai found this is not true across the board,” the company said. “For example, while six of Best Buy’s top 10 days from 2017 through 2019 were in late November, only three of Target’s were and only two of Walmart’s.”
Ethan Chernofsky, vice president of marketing at Placer.ai, noted in the report that for many brands, traffic is strongest (and outpaces Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the Saturday after) in the period right before Christmas (Dec. 21 through 23). There are also categorical differences in regard to foot traffic, he added.
“Food-oriented brands like Costco see a dramatically more significant period pre-Christmas, while brands oriented toward classic Black Friday shopping like Best Buy, Lowe’s, or Kohl’s see a shift toward Black Friday,” Chernofsky said in the report. “Interestingly, Target and Walmart, two of the brands forsaking Thanksgiving in 2020, consistently see more traffic pre-Christmas.”
But traffic generated on Thanksgiving remains significant for the entire holiday season, and Placer.ai said in the report that “losing Thanksgiving visits will matter to most brands.”