Buyers filled parking lots and lined up last Black Friday despite the threat of COVID-19.
Now that approximately 55% of Knox County residents are fully immunized, expect parking lots at West Town Mall and Pinnacle in Turkey Creek to fill up for the next day. biggest shopping day of the year.
If the industry’s predictions hold true, consumers are ready to spend, both in person and online. This year’s vacation spending is set to hit an all-time high until supply chain issues interfere, according to estimates by the National Retail Trade Federation.
He predicted that holiday sales in November and December would be 8.5-10.5 percent higher than in 2020, which would represent between $ 843.4 billion and $ 859 billion in sales worldwide.
“With the prospect that consumers are looking to shop early, inventory can be reduced sooner and shortages can develop in the final weeks of the shopping season,” said the chief economist of the National Retail Federation. Jack Kleinhenz in a press release. “However, if retailers can keep the merchandise on the shelves and the merchandise arrives before Christmas, it could be a great holiday sales season.”
West Town Mall will open at 6 a.m. on Friday and close at 9 p.m. Store opening hours vary, so check shopwesttownmall.com for details.
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Kippy Price, director of marketing and business development for West Town Mall, said the mall does not forecast traffic or spend, but referred to a SpendingPulse Mastercard Report which predicted a 7% increase in US vacation retail sales.
“We see lots of shopping bags, a lively Santa Claus activity and full parking lots, which is always a good sign and indicator of a busy holiday shopping season,” Price said.
To find deals at the mall, shoppers can download the free Simon app to access rewards, register at West Town Mall Insider’s Club or check out the mall’s social networks.
Several stores in the mall debut this holiday season, including Dick’s Sports House, Lush artisan cosmetics, Bee coffee and Johnston & Murphy. Seasonal favorites like Hickory Farms and See’s Candies are back this year.
Price said the mall is healthy and certified by the WELL International Construction Institute for cleaning and disinfection; quality air and water; emergency preparedness and more.
The Pinnacle at Turkey Creek has over 60 national, regional and local retailers, anchored by Belk and Total Wine. Find more retailers on pinnacleatturkeycreek.com and check with individual retailers for store opening hours. Other stores include Best Buy, Marshall’s, and ULTA Beauty.
Pinnacle at Turkey Creek is under new management. Crawford Square Real Estate Advisors has been awarded the management and lease of the mall, she said in a November press release. This change will not impact Black Friday purchases.
“Last year, Pinnacle at Turkey Creek ranked as one of Tennessee’s top ten busiest malls for Black Friday weekend and we are planning the same for this year,” the deputy told Knox News. – CSREA Marketing President Suzanna Wasserman Edwards. “Since the start of the year, our traffic has been comparable to that of 2019 and we expect this Black Friday weekend to be well above the figures for 2019.”
The mall kicks off its official holiday season with the “All is Bright” event on December 10th. Buyers can follow the center on Instagram @pinnacleaturkeycreek for giveaways and event announcements.
What buyers want this year
The National Retail Federation surveyed 8,000 shoppers and found they plan to spend an average of $ 998 on holiday gifts and items this year, on par with 2020 spending estimates.
Likely in part because of a potential supply chain disruption, 49% of those polled said they wanted to start their holiday shopping before November, up from 42% last year.
Online shopping is still a major factor, but some consumers surveyed will return to in-person shopping with 57% saying they plan to buy holiday items online, up from 60% in 2020.
How to Navigate Holiday Shopping This Year
Nearly half of shoppers surveyed by the National Retail Federation fear they will have difficulty finding items this year, especially electronics, clothing and toys.
Industry expert Mark Bastl, director of the Center for Supply Chain Management at Marquette University, told USA TODAY toys and consumer electronics such as computers and video game consoles were the most affected.
“Consumers are ready to celebrate, and freebies are at the top of the list. The retail industry works diligently with ports, labor, shippers and transportation providers as well as government officials to overcome supply chain challenges and s’ ensuring that consumers have access to the gifts they want to give and, just as importantly, receive, ”National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said in the annual report on vacation spending forecasts. business group.
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For consumers to buy on Fridays, experts insist on starting holiday shopping early, as prices could rise and shelves could empty over the year.
Compared to January 2020, “out of stock” messages in online stores are up 172%, according to Adobe, which analyzes purchase transactions. The study found that clothing had the highest out-of-stock rates, followed by sporting goods, baby items and electronics.
Many retailers have already started their Black Friday sales and remain closed for Thanksgiving. Adobe Digital Insights told USA TODAY that while prices are cheaper in November than in October, overall discounts won’t be as big this holiday season.
Overall, discounts will be 5-25% compared to a historical average of 10-30%.
Adobe’s analysis has shown that the most demanded products include the Tamagotchi Pix, Nintendo Swtich OLED, Airpods Max, and record players.
“The longer these delays last, the more likely it is that companies involved in the production, distribution and movement of our products will not be able or willing to absorb this cost, and they will begin to push them to consumers,” he said. said Bastl. .
USA TODAY reporters Brett Molina and Kelly Tyko contributed to this reporting.
Business Growth and Development Editor-in-Chief Brenna McDermott can be reached at [email protected] Follow his work on Twitter @_BrennaMcD. Support our local information efforts by become a Knox News subscriber.