Department Stores Expected to ‘Make a Comeback’ on Black Friday, According to Mastercard

With many big-box retailers, department stores and outlet malls closed again on Thanksgiving Day, consumers will be gearing up for a Black Friday shopping blitz, according to new data from Mastercard SpendingPulse.

The report, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment, stated that U.S. retail sales are expected to grow 15% on Black Friday compared to last year.

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Mastercard also found that department stores are making a comeback with deals and discounts to entice consumers. This Black Friday, department store sales are anticipated to be up nearly 25% over last year, the report said.

What’s more, consumers are returning to stores this holiday season thanks to doorbusters, window displays and brick-and-mortar collaborations, with in-store retail sales expected to be up 18% over last year.

“Expect Black Friday shopping to be in full force across channels this year,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Incorporated. “While retailers have already been heavily discounting this season, consumers and retailers are likely holding out for some special offers to land on the biggest promotional day of the year.”

This new data coincides with Mastercard SpendingPulse’s October sales data. According to the company early holiday promotions drove consumers online and into stores, with U.S. retail sales in October increasing 9.5% from last year.

E-commerce sales in October grew 12.7% over last year and experiential sectors including restaurants, airlines and lodging all saw double-digit growth compared to 2021.

“In October we saw the strength in the labor market continue to support consumer purchasing power,” added Michelle Meyer, U.S. chief economist at Mastercard Economics Institute. “Coupled with heavy online promotions, consumers got a head start on their holiday shopping, fueling another strong month of retail sales.”

Earlier this month, the National Retail Federation (NRF) released its forecast for this year’s holiday season. Retail sales are expected to grow between 6% and 8% over 2021 to between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion, according to the NRF.

Online and non-store sales this holiday season are expected to grow between 10% and 12%, though consumers are largely expected to shift back to in-store shopping this year, the NRF said.

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