Black Friday is next week and retailers are gearing up for a busy shopping season. An October survey from Deloitte found that online holiday shopping is expected to beat in-store sales for the first time.
But LSU Marketing Professor Dan Rice says brick and mortar stores can be still very profitable and retailers will do what they can to get shoppers into their stores.
“There seems to be about a 60-40 split from some of the numbers I’ve seen with how many companies are focusing on the online versus the offline. So there is still a lot of focus in both areas.”
Rice expects this year to be better for Louisiana retailers, especially in south Louisiana. Many consumers didn’t spend as much during the holidays, because they were recovering from the historic flooding.
“That’s had a year plus now to get back on track and hopefully most of those people are doing well so they’re probably looking towards some of the things they can find now instead of the things they need, hopefully things will be better from that stand point.”
Rice says big corporate stores like Wal-Mart and Best Buy opened up some Black Friday deals at the end of October. But he says other retailers like REI or Ikea, have decided not to open on Thanksgiving to impress consumers with their family values and encourage them to shop during other times of the season.
“Because we want to give Thursday with their families and other retailers are starting to look at that and consider whether they want to do that as well because part of the thing you’re trying to do is cut through the clutter with your offers.”