Shopping expected to be up this Black Friday

Shoppers hitting the stores Black Friday in Ohio will be part of a projected 7.3% growth in retail spending this holiday season compared to 2020.

A new forecast by University of Cincinnati Economics Center researchers projects that for the Dayton metro area there will be a 10.2% increase in retail spending this holiday season.

Black Friday is the unofficial kickoff to the holiday shopping season, but this year it’s expected to be somewhat muted by retailers spreading out sales and launching big markdowns as early as October.

Because of some workforce issues, you might see stores not open for as many hours as they might otherwise would, or as we’re accustomed to in years past, but you’re still going to be able to go to the store and get your holiday shopping,” said Alex Boehnke, with The Ohio Council of Retail Merchants.

While the growth is not even across the state, out of nine Ohio metro areas analyzed including Dayton, all are expected to see more retail spending this season than last holiday shopping season, UC said.

Shoppers that hit the stores Friday morning might see some snow flurries and should take caution because Thursday showers may leave some slick spots in the road.

High temperatures are forecasted for the mid to high 30s, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Stevie Brooks of Centerville said the weather or fewer sales won’t hold her family back from enjoying Black Friday shopping.

“It’s something we do every year. We just like spending time together and seeing what’s out there,” Brooks said.

If starting shopping on Thanksgiving Day, there’s a chance of rain and temperatures will reach the high 40s and low 50s, but by the evening temperatures will drop and colder weather will return.

Increasingly though, shoppers are avoiding the weather and the traffic altogether and ordering online.

Walmart, Macy’s, Amazon and more were all advertising deals on hot items available now or online.

Some retail chains are still highlighting shopping sales specifically on Black Friday. Dunham’s Sports, which includes a local store in Springfield, has been advertising that it is opening stores 4 a.m. Friday with deals like 50% off Champion clothing and 25% off Under Armour.

Tammy Perkins of Springfield said she’d rather see an item before she buys it.

“I do a lot of shopping on Black Friday. It’s fun to see what’s out there and we’ve been cooped up enough over the past year,” Perkins said.

Megan Heare, senior research association with UC Economics Center, said ecommerce sales currently account for 13.3% of total U.S. retail sales.

“So this reflects a drop from the start of the pandemic, but still remains above pre-pandemic levels. Nationally, ecommerce sales are forecasted to grow 11 - 15% during the 2021 holiday season,” Heare said.

The Ohio Council of Retail Merchants’ research affiliate, Focus on Ohio’s Future, and the UC Economics Center forecast robust holiday retail sales for Ohio this year, with expected total sales of $31.4 billion.

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