Changing Retail Landscape Leading up to Black Friday

Dr. Ahmed Maamoun with UMD Says This Year's Changing Retail Landscape Could Make an Impact on Black Friday Sales

DULUTH, Minn. – Black Friday marks the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season.

As companies begin to entice shoppers with deals and free shipping, UMD expert Ahmed Maamoun, Ph.D., explains how the retail landscape is constantly being redefined by both companies and technology.

“In the retail sector, Black Friday is one of the most intriguing times of year,” said Maamoun.

Traditionally, it has signaled the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

On Black Friday, retailers typically offer deals on products to lure customers to shop.

They also feature a few ‘doorbuster deals’ in limited quantities that are deeply discounted or even sold below cost to help create this treasure-hunt atmosphere. This classic and stereotypical Black Friday is changing though.

“Amazon has redefined all aspects of the retail landscape; and Black Friday is no exception. We are seeing that more consumers have decided to trade the hustle and bustle of going to brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday for the ease of online shopping, while finding similar, if not comparable, deals,” said Maamoun.

Maamoun says Amazon has mainstreamed online holiday shopping and big box retailers (e.g., Walmart, Target, Kohl’s) have no choice but to follow.

Free and fast shipping on value deals along with liberal return policies can no longer be overlooked by brick-and-mortar formats.

“In the toy space, all of the big players are doubling down on toy deals to fill the void created by Toys R Us exiting the scene.”

Ahmed Maamoun, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of marketing at the Labovitz School of Business and Economics at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Maamoun teaches courses tied to retailing, international marketing and the principles of marketing. His research interests include marketing competitiveness and marketing strategy in small and medium sized enterprises.

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