Department Stores Get The Black Friday Feeling

Posted on December 9, 2016

At the beginning of December each year at Devicescape we take a quick look at connection data from our millions of active devices to see which of the top Wi-Fi enabled retailers in the U.S. saw increases in footfall from their Black Friday sales efforts. Black Friday campaigns seem to start earlier each year, and retailers are clearly keen to drive footfall over the entire holiday weekend. Our connection data offers some great insights into the numbers of consumers coming through the doors.

This year the department stores were the big winners. As the table below shows, Kohl’s and J.C. Penney saw footfall on Black Friday surge to four times their daily average over the preceding 30 days. Macy’s was another winner, seeing a 3.5x increase.

But despite retailers’ best efforts to drag Black Friday into a full weekend event, Saturday & Sunday footfalls at all the stores looked to be back to normal levels. At least in the brick & mortar world, Black Friday still seems to be a single-day event for most shoppers.

Over in the UK, retailers have been trying to replicate the Black Friday frenzy, despite there being no actual public holiday to free potential customers from their everyday commitments. So far, according to our numbers, that effort appears to be falling flat. Friday over Friday numbers from a handful of top UK retailers (including John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Game) all showed no increase for Black Friday. Even the Saturday and Sunday numbers were consistent with the previous weekend’s footfall, suggesting that, for UK shoppers, Black Friday has yet to cast its spell.

Store Footfall Increase
Kohl’s 4x
J.C. Penney 4x
Macy’s 3.5x
Dick’s Sporting Goods 3x
GAP Brands 3x
Target 3x
BestBuy 2.5x
Sephora 2.5x
Staples 2x
Famous Footwear 1.5x
Walmart 1.5x