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    In Stores on Black Friday 2019: Photos & Insights from the Big Day

    The face of Black Friday is changing. Increasingly…

    • Black Friday deals are available before, er, Black Friday
    • Cyber Monday and other special shopping days (even Prime Day) are cutting into Black Friday sales
    • More and more holiday shopping is taking place online

    Basically, in-store, Black Friday shopping is no longer the only show in town during (or well before) the holiday season.

    Case-in-point: Even as online Black Friday spending set a new record in 2019 at $7.4 billion, data from ShopperTrak suggest in-store visits dropped 6.2%.


    Black Friday 2019 Agent Image


    Still, B&M shopping remains a big enterprise on Black Friday. On Saturday, Field Agent surveyed 2,489 shoppers1 about their 2019 Black Friday shopping.

    1All respondents were U.S. adults and smartphone owners at least 18 years of age. The survey was administered entirely through the Field Agent mobile app. Demos: Gender – Female (72%), Male (28%); Age – 18-34 (37%), 35-44 (34%), 45-54 (20%), 55+ (10%); Race – Caucasian/White (70%), African American/Black (13%), Latino/Hispanic (7%), Other (10%); Household Income - <$35K (25%), $35-49K (21%), $50-74K (24%), $75-99K (15%), $100K+ (16%).


    Fully 63% of respondents shopped for holiday gifts on Black Friday, November 29, 2019. But how does this figure breakdown by online and brick-and-mortar?

    Altogether, 46% of respondents shopped Black Friday deals online this year, compared to 40% who shopped in-store. One quarter (24%), in fact, shopped both online and in-store.


    So while more survey respondents shopped online than in-store on November 29, clearly Black Friday remains a big day for brick-and-mortar retailers. Which raises some pressing questions about which B&M retailers fared best on Black Friday 2019.


    Black Friday Survey: In-Store Shoppers


    Field Agent ultimately surveyed 1,008 U.S. adults2 who shopped for holiday gifts in stores on Black Friday, November 29, 2019.

    2All respondents were U.S. adults and smartphone owners at least 18 years of age. The survey was administered entirely through the Field Agent mobile app. Demos: Gender – Female (72%), Male (28%); Age – 18-34 (39%), 35-44 (34%), 45-54 (18%), 55+ (9%); Race – Caucasian/White (72%), African American/Black (10%), Latino/Hispanic (7%), Other (11%); Household Income - <$35K (22%), $35-49K (20%), $50-74K (25%), $75-99K (16%), $100K+ (17%).


    Below we present a five-question QuickFire Q&A about the Black Friday 2019 brick-and-mortar scene. We answer questions about both retailers and purchases.

    Also, Field Agent took the opportunity on Black Friday to do what we do best: capture photos inside retail locations across the country. We asked agents to take photos of Black Friday crowds and deals while shopping inside stores early Friday morning, and we present these photos throughout the post.


    Black Friday 2019 Agent Images


    See Also: The 2019 Holiday Preview by Field Agent, with over 50 pages of insight into holiday shoppers


    QuickFire Q&A: In Stores on Black Friday


    1. Which stores were most popular among Black Friday shoppers?


    Not websites. Not apps. But brick-and-mortar stores.

    Which stores were most popular among shoppers who made in-store purchases on Black Friday 2019 (n = 1,008)?

    In all, 69% of brick-and-mortar Black Friday shoppers in our survey shopped for holiday gifts at Walmart this year, followed by Target (43%) and Kohl's (28%).


    Black Friday 2019 Graph


    2. How well did these stores serve Black Friday shoppers?


    We asked in-store Black Friday shoppers (n = 1,008), "Of the stores you visited to shop for holiday gifts, which offered the best overall Black Friday experience?" We explained that "Black Friday experience" might encompass deals, atmosphere, service, short/fast lines, stock-levels, or anything else the respondent feels pertinent to a positive, in-store shopping experience on Black Friday.

    Let's consider results for the top 3 B&M retailers above: Walmart, Target, and Kohl's.


    Of respondents who shopped in-store at Walmart and at least one other store on Black Friday 2019 (n = 574), 39% said Walmart offered the best overall Black Friday shopping experience.

    As one shopper said of Black Friday at Walmart, "I was able to go in, get what I wanted, and check out quickly. All the other stores had long lines." Walmart shoppers especially liked the good deals, quick lines, organized stores, and free refreshments. 

    "I didn't have to wait in long lines," another Walmart shopper commented. "They had employees walking around with scanners to checkout."


    Black Friday 2019 Crowds


    Among those who shopped in-store at Target plus at least one other store (n = 406), 31% cited Target as the day's best overall experience. Likewise, 31% of respondents who shopped at Kohl's and at least one other store (n = 266) said the department store offered the best Black Friday experience. 

    One Target shopper said, "They had sale items in-stock and easily identifiable. All registers were open so checking out was easy."


    Notably, of shoppers who went to both Walmart and Target on Black Friday (and, in most cases, other stores as well; n = 323), 35% said Walmart offered the best Black Friday shopping experience compared to 28% for Target.  


    3. How much total holiday spending took place in stores on Black Friday 2019?


    Of 1,008 in-store Black Friday shoppers, 27% said they completed all or most of their total 2019 holiday gift-buying in stores on November 29. By comparison, 37% reported completing "some of it," 32% "a little of it," and 4% "none of it."

    As already mentioned, Black Friday is no longer the only holiday-shopping show in town, and these findings attest to it.


    4. What were the best in-store deals to be had on Black Friday 2019? 


    Field Agent asked Black Friday shoppers who made purchases in-store—and only in-store (n = 397)—to identify the single best deal they bagged. It was posed as a free form question, meaning no choice options were imposed. 

    Attire and TVs were most frequently cited. Among 397 responses, 65 mentioned clothes or footwear and 45 mentioned TVs. Seven specifically mentioned Samsung TVs, which, given our holiday research into consumer electronics, wasn't surprising.

    Other "best deals" mentioned en masse by in-store shoppers were:

    • Toys (18 mentions)
    • Tablets (17 mentions; 5 specifically mentioned Chromebook and 4 iPad)
    • Gaming Consoles (13 mentions; 8 specifically mentioned PlayStation 4)
    • Head/earphones (9 mentions; 5 specifically mentioned AirPods)
    • Video games (9 mentions; 5 specifically mentioned Nintendo Switch games)
    • Smartwatches (7 mentions; 5 specifically mentioned Apple Watches)


    Black Friday 2019 Deals


    5. Which product categories were most popular among in-store Black Friday shoppers?


    We posed the following question to 397 shoppers who only made brick-and-mortar purchases on Black Friday 2019: "Which one product category received MOST of your Black Friday gift-spending?"

    As you can see, clothing/footwear took the top place, followed by electronics and toys/games.

    1. Clothing/footwear (not wearable accessories): 24%
    2. Electronics (not video gaming or household appliances): 18%
    3. Toys/games (not video gaming or bikes): 15%
    4. Video gaming: 9%
    5. Kitchen appliances/supplies: 8%
    Beauty supplies/cosmetics/fragrances came in right at 5%, and no other category surpassed 3.25% 


    Yet, we're only scratching the surface of 2019 holiday shopping. For insights into everything from holiday gifts to holiday groceries, be sure to download our free 2019 Holiday Preview below. Time's running out. 


    Last Chance: Download the 2019 Holiday Preview


    From surveys with over 4,000 holiday shoppers, An Omnichannel Christmas, explores a wide range of questions, including:

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    • What role will brick-and-mortar, online, and omnichannel shopping play in gift purchases?
    • What gifts will be most popular this holiday season, among boys, girls, men, and women?
    • What foods, drinks, and sweets will celebrants purchase to enhance their holiday?

    Covering almost 50 pages, it’s our biggest and best holiday report yet.

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