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Retailers Raise Annual Forecasts After Strong Black Friday Sales

Retailers are reportedly expressing optimism for the holiday season sales following stronger-than-expected figures during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

The heavy discounts offered during these peak shopping days attracted budget-strained customers, leading to record-breaking online sales and surpassing estimates, Reuters reported Friday (Dec. 1). 

This positive start to the holiday season has encouraged retailers to raise their annual sales expectations and forecast a strong holiday quarter, according to the report. 

Ulta Beauty and Foot Locker are among those that have raised their annual sales expectations, citing a strong start to the holiday selling season, the report said. 

Foot Locker CEO Mary Dillon highlighted the success of their full-price holiday assortments as well as their compelling deals, per the report. The increase in foot traffic to recreational and sporting goods retailers during Black Friday further supports the positive trend. 

Retailers such as WalmartAbercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters have also raised their annual forecasts, according to the report. 

Amazon’s extended Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping event, which spanned from Nov. 17 to Nov. 27, was its biggest ever compared to previous years, the report said. 

Card spending during the week ending Nov. 25 was 1.7% higher than the same period last year, per the report, which cited data from BofA Global Research

Deep discounts have been a key feature of this year’s holiday shopping season, according to the report. Retail executives anticipate that holiday discounts could become even bigger in December. For example, Kohl’s CEO Tom Kingsbury stated that the company is aggressively promoting its holiday offerings. 

While lower-income households may be pulling back on discretionary purchases, there is still optimism surrounding overall household consumption, the report said. Wealth Consulting Group CEO Jimmy Lee told Reuters that there is still a significant amount of money available for spending. 

PYMNTS Intelligence has found that about two-thirds of consumers in the United States shopped on Black Friday

Forty-eight percent of consumers made Black Friday purchases online, while 37% did so in physical stores. Only 35% of U.S. consumers did not shop at all on Black Friday, according to “Black Friday 2023: Consumers Widen Their Search for Holiday Bargains.” 

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