A Bay Area retail expert reveals what to expect for Black Friday this year

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Black Friday in 2022 is expected to be different from previous years. The National Retail Federation estimates that 166.3 million people will shop between Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday. However, local retail experts expect that number to be lower due to inflation.

“They say 6 to 8 percent,” said Kirthi Kalyanam, a retail management professor at Santa Clara University. “But look at that number, it looks like a very healthy growth rate, but when inflation is 5% that doesn’t mean you’re really growing at 2%.”

Kalyana says she expects buying to still occur at high levels, but not across all categories.

“Anything that’s discretionary and expensive, they won’t buy,” he said. “So these are items that they’re going to be very careful about before buying.”

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Those items, he says, include things like furniture or other large household items possibly purchased during the pandemic. However, he says people will be looking for smaller, cheaper items for holiday gifts.

“You always have to enjoy your vacation and you always have to give people your gifts,” he said. “So if you remove those big items, the non-discretionary items, there will still be some risk in those categories.”

Another different thing this year is the impact COVID-19 will have on Black Friday. Kalyanam says it’s mostly back to normal with some differences.

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“We are where we are, visiting stores again,” he said. “And I think about six months to a year ago there’s a misconception that the growth of e-commerce was so big that people will stay away from stores, and that’s a big part of that. fake.”

He says that aside from the economic impacts on prices, it will feel as close to normal as possible. One thing he says people should keep an eye out for is items on sale due to high inventory.

“In some cases, retailers are overstocking certain items,” he said. “In retail, there’s a term called cut big and cut deep. That’s what you see in some stores, and that’s why you see Black Friday-type deals earlier this year.”

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