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Online sales and staggered hours change Black Friday shopping habits


Black Friday traditionally has been one of the busiest shopping days of the year, but the way retailers view it has been changing.

That’s according to Ted Potrikus, president and CEO of the New York State Retail Council. He said that while stores will certainly be busy on Friday, the concentration of shoppers is more spread out throughout the holiday season, partly due to online sales but also because of the staggered hours at the regular brick and mortar stores.

“What’s happened is with the Black Friday sales starting two, three weeks ahead of time, with the stores opening up on Thursday, rather than Friday, with all of those different things that have happened along the way, it’s taken the pressure off of the doors on the morning of Black Friday itself,” Potrikus said.

Even with the influence of online sales and staggered hours, Potrikus said that a lot of people still like to take part in that shopping frenzy on Black Friday.

“Shopping still, for a preponderance of the population is a social experience, it’s a family thing, it’s a tradition, they like to get out and do it, the same way that they like to hear the same Bing Crosby record every single Christmas,” Potrikus said.

Potrikus said the fact that Thanksgiving is later this year will likely cause a bigger flurry of shopping activities for the last few weeks of the season.

In terms of hot selling items, electronics are always popular, but Potrikus said a "retro" product is seeing a lot of popularity this season.

"Board games are on the list of things that are popular, there’s no device. I think the biggest device is the spinner in the middle of the board game, but from what we’re told, board games are one of the toys that kids are looking for. Everything old is new again," he said.

The National Retail Federation is estimating that holiday sales will come in about four percent above last year's numbers.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's Director of News and Public Affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.