NEW YORK (AP) — While Black Friday will mark a return to familiar holiday shopping patterns, uncertainty still remains.
Isela Dalencia, who was shopping for household essentials like detergent at a Walmart in Secaucus, New Jersey, earlier this week, said she’s delaying buying holiday gifts until Cyber Monday — the Monday after Thanksgiving — when online sales rev up.
“I am shopping less,” Dalencia said, noting she will spend about $700 for holiday gifts this year, one-third less than last year.
Against today’s economic backdrop, the National Retail Federation — the largest retail trade group — expects holiday sales growth will slow to a range of 6% to 8%, from the blistering 13.5% growth of a year ago.
Analysts consider the five-day Black Friday weekend, which includes Cyber Monday, a key barometer of shoppers’ willingness to spend, particularly this year.
among shoppers, it has lost stature over the last decade as stores opened on Thanksgiving and shopping shifted to Amazon and other online retailers.
Stores have further diluted the day’s status by promoting Black Friday sales throughout the month.
Still, some experts believe Black Friday will again be the busiest shopping day this year, according to Sensormatic, which tracks customer traffic.