Marshal Cohen

Marshal Cohen
Chief Industry Advisor, Retail

Juli Lennett

Juli Lennett
Vice President, Industry Advisor, Toys

Joe Derochowski

Joe Derochowski
Vice President, Industry Advisor, Home and Home Improvement

Larissa Jensen

Larissa Jensen
Vice President, Industry Advisor, Beauty

Kristen Classi Zummo

Kristen Classi-Zummo
Director, Industry Analyst

Kristens Headshot BW HiRes

Kristen McLean
Executive Director, Industry Analyst

Paul Gagnon
Vice President, Industry Advisor, Consumer Technology

Brad Akyuz

Brad Akyuz
Executive Director, Connected Intelligence

What does the path ahead look like for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor for NPD says these holiday season promotional events have a few hurdles to jump over – Cyber Monday in particular. Performance is being compared to the extreme spending elevation that occurred in 2021, and sales revenue trends that mirror the less impressive peaks of 2020. The lack of new and exciting product offerings, promotion fatigue from endless early promotions, and the rising cost of living are making the hurdles even more daunting. 

Read on to see just how big NPD’s industry experts think this year’s “big” holiday retail moments will be.

How do you expect Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales results to compare to last year’s? 

“My anticipation is that retail sales revenue will fall short for Black Friday. Store traffic will be up from last year, but it will be more shopping than buying. I am more concerned about Cyber Monday, as online sales results are already leveling off, and consumers carry last year’s disappointment from late, or even non-existent, deliveries.”
– Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry advisor

“It will be challenging for the toy industry to deliver growth during these two weeks. Macro-economic factors working against consumers may move toy purchases to later in the season. There is anticipation of stronger and deeper promotions compared to last year, and a stronger shift from online to in-store shopping (where average selling prices are lower). Self-gifting adults, who drove growth last year, will be the deciding factor behind the toy industry’s up or down performance.”
– Juli Lennett, toys industry advisor

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be less important for the Home Industry than last year because the holiday shopping season started earlier this year. However, sales will be up vs. pre-pandemic levels because our homes will still be the hub for holiday celebrations and entertaining.”
– Joe Derochowski, home and home-improvement industry advisor

“Like last year, the spreading of the 2022 holiday season is expected to bring stronger growth during the weeks ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Sales on both days should grow, but at a much softer rate than years prior; and Cyber Monday will likely underperform Black Friday. Regardless of when consumers start shopping, fragrance remains more of a last-minute gift with one third of Q4 fragrance sales occurring during Christmas week.”
– Larissa Jensen, beauty industry advisor

“Although apparel sales have been sluggish for the season so far, and there is real potential for consumer pullback amid inflationary pressure, Black Friday will help spur some spend for the industry. A combination of fresh promotions and Thanksgiving festivities will help set the mood for seasonal celebrations ahead. While discovery on social media will drive some interest, more emphasis on in-person shopping will lead to a softer Cyber Monday.”
– Kristen Classi-Zummo, fashion apparel industry analyst

“In the U.S. books market 2022 sales are expected to follow the 2020 pattern, with a later start than last year and high volume for hotly anticipated titles. Black Friday and Cyber Monday is less of a factor when it comes to books, but holiday volumes do ramp up the week after Thanksgiving. While 2022 will fall short of 2021’s heady heights, we anticipate the volume to be more than 10% over pre-pandemic levels.”
– Kristen McLean, books industry analyst

“Surprisingly, early season tech sales have been slow – straying from the trend of the last few years. Consumers may be waiting for more traditional deeper discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year. Therefore, sales could grow against a softer Black Friday period the last couple of years.”
– Paul Gagnon, consumer technology industry advisor

“Demand for mobile phones remains strong, even as demand for other general merchandise categories begins to drop. This is primarily thanks to U.S. mobile carriers’ aggressive subsidies aimed at defending their existing customer base, while also attracting newcomers from rivals.”
– Brad Akyuz, Connected Intelligence industry analyst

What will be the hot items this Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

“The hot Black Friday/Cyber Monday toys will be the same hot items of the season.” – Juli Lennett

  • Usual holiday gift classics: Barbie Dreamhouse, Hot Wheels, Star Wars, Uno, Jenga, and Monopoly
  • Properties appealing to kidults (ages 12+): Pokémon, Squishmallows, LEGO, and sports trading cards
  • Movies will play a role again: Marvel Universe and Jurassic World 
  • Popular new items: Monster High Dolls and Magic Mixies Magic Crystal Ball
  • Top choices for the younger crowd: Fisher-Price, and Melissa & Doug

“In addition to buying holiday gifts, consumers will purchase entertainment-oriented housewares.” – Joe Derochowski

  • Coffee perks: single-serve brewing systems, and espresso makers
  • Heating things up: air fryers, cookware, and toaster ovens
  • Food preparation: stand mixers, single-serve blenders
  • Thirst quenching: mini compact refrigerators, portable beverageware, and products for serving alcohol, like beverageware, wine openers, aerators, etc. 
  • Cleaning convenience: robotic, stick, and hand vacuums, and pet-specific solutions
  • Health-helpers: handheld massagers, and oral care

“Look for the holiday beauty staples, sets, and festive packaging.” – Larissa Jensen

  • Fragrance, fragrance, fragrance
  • Skincare gift sets
  • Festively packaged holiday makeup

“Moving away from home-based lifestyles, consumers will seek new styles for festivities with friends and family.” – Kristen Classi-Zummo

  • Holiday dressing to sparkle and shine
  • Cold weather replenishments, like outerwear (instead of the past two years of layering)
  • Creative gift sets and hot brands 

“The hottest holiday books will include hotly anticipated titles in autobiography, pop-culture, lifestyle, and cooking.” – Kristen McLean

  • Michelle Obama’s newest “The Light We Carry”
  • Marie Kondo’s new “Kushari at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life”
  • Ina Garten’s latest “Go-to Dinners” 

“Low prices, plenty of inventory, and holiday travel plans will keep frequent Black Friday headline products significant sources of revenue once again.” – Paul Gagnon

  • TVs, with particularly good prices on 55” and larger sets
  • Products for on-the-go: smartphones, wireless headphone, and tablets

“As with previous years, expect demand for Apple iPhones to be strong during this Black Friday period.” – Brad Akyuz

Will this year be about great prices and promotions, or just good inventory levels and supply?

“There is more than enough toy inventory in the channel, which will spark higher promotional levels and likely deeper discounting – the complete opposite of last year.” – Juli Lennett

“Retailers will respond to the consumer’s desire for the best deal. Select home and personal care product promotions will carry through the last shopping week of the season and beyond.” – Joe Derochowski

“Holiday is a highly promotional period in beauty, and even though units on promotion have declined year-to-date, promotion levels are expected go up this last quarter.” – Larissa Jensen

“Apparel will be highly promotional this holiday season, especially in over-inventoried items like sleepwear and sweats. Hot brands and trends will stimulate sales, if the deal fits.” – Kristen Classi-Zummo

“Cover prices have already gone up on new books and so far promotions have been limited to price-matching among the biggest retailers on very specific titles. Stock-levels are ready to support plenty of book buying, especially in children’s categories where books are seen as an affordable, high-value gift.” – Kristen McLean

“Discounts have been modest so far, but electronics product costs have been marching steadily lower, along with lower logistics costs and better availability. There is still room for good promotions this holiday season.” – Paul Gagnon

“Recent supply challenges will limit promotions on newly released flagship smartphones, where demand is expected to overwhelm supply. In contrast, lower tier models or older generation flagship devices should all see more promotional activity. National retailers are expected to leverage promotions in hopes of feeding smartphone buyers’ appetite for high-margin accessories.” – Brad Akyuz

“It will come down to timing.” – Marshal Cohen

“Consumers will still be spending money this holiday, but with so many choices of where to get the same products, timing becomes critical,” adds Cohen. “Retailers will have to work harder to captivate the consumer at the right time – when they are ready to spend.”

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