Black Friday is a bargain for everyone but American retailers

3 min
Aurélien Duthoit
Aurélien Duthoit Sector Advisor for Retail, Technology and Household equipment
  • Christmas is critical to the US retail industry: up to 20% of retail turnover is generated in December. However, Black Friday is increasingly cannibalizing sales, with shoppers buying their Christmas gifts in advance and at a discount.
  • We use the share of online sales as a proxy for Black Friday risks across segments (e-commerce companies are the main promoters of Black Friday) and chart it against retailers’ dependence on the Christmas physical shopping season.
  • We find that books, electronics, clothing and hobbies, toys & games segments show up as the most exposed, with an estimated USD 38bn of retail sales at risk in December 2019.
Figure 1: E-commerce penetration (vertical axis), share of December in total sales (horizontal axis) and December 2019 sales at risk (size of the bubbles in USD bn) 
Sources: US Census Bureau, eMarketer, digitalcommerce360, Euler Hermes, Allianz Research calculations