CBRE’s Americas Head of Retail Research is available to discuss preliminary results from the Black Friday and Small Business Saturday shopping weekend, including feedback from several CBRE-managed centers across the U.S., traffic drivers, popular categories and trends shaping the shopping season, including the impact of inflation.
CBRE Retail Property Management surveyed personnel at 13 of the malls and outdoor, mixed-use centers that it manages across the U.S. and found the following regarding results from last weekend:
• Centers reported traffic was up slightly compared to last year even though many retailers started their Black Friday promotions early.
• As to be expected, heavy discounts (50%+ off on apparel) played a major role in driving traffic and sales on Black Friday; Retailers offering the steepest discounts consistently reported lines outside of the store.
• The majority of retailers surveyed reported Black Friday sales exceeding their own forecasts and their 2021 results. Popular categories were electronics, home décor, jewelry, beauty and apparel.
• Buy Now, Pay Later services were popular this year as consumers continue to feel the impacts of inflation and economic pressures.
• Events, such as Santa meetings and holiday markets, as well as experiences like ice rinks and interactive photo opportunities not only generated traffic but also created buzz on social media.
• Neither retailers or shoppers cited inventory shortages as an issue, indicating that adaptive strategies implemented by retailers and e-commerce companies, such as amassing deeper inventories farther ahead of the season, were successful.
The CBRE-managed retail centers are spread across the U.S., with seven in the West, three in the Midwest and Central U.S., and three in the East.
“The consensus from several CBRE-managed malls and shopping centers is the 2022 holiday shopping season is off to a solid start,” said Brandon Isner, CBRE Americas Head of Retail Research. “Shoppers gravitated to heavy discounts and to traffic-drivers like Santa visits and selfie-inspiring experiences, which we anticipate will continue to attract foot traffic throughout the season. Price inflation will remain a headwind for shoppers this season, so it’s likely that discounts will play a sustained role in generating interest this season.”