Back to Black Friday

Mike Berland
3 min readNov 14, 2021

Nothing says the holidays like getting into the spirit with in-person Black Friday Sales.

Last year, we made the gifting season work with a bit of distance, a lot of pivoting and internet elves working overtime. There was a lot of online shopping, and no holiday cheer. Black Friday sales were down by 20%.

You might not know your exact Thanksgiving plans yet…but start making your Black Friday plans now!!! Stores will be open and ready to welcome you back.

There is already momentum for the holiday season — fueled by in-person and omni-channel shopping and a refreshing sense of optimism.


Getting in the holiday spirit via in-person shopping. Holiday joy is back! In fact, it’s already started.

Here is the 2021 holiday season by the numbers:

  • 85%: Consumers planning to shop in brick-and-mortar stores in the 2021 holiday season. Now with vaccines and daily life easing back to “normal,” we feel more comfortable leaning into the holiday spirit, spreading joy to the world and shopping in person again.
  • 40%: Consumers starting their holiday shopping earlier this year.
  • 22%: Consumers who have already started their holiday shopping. Get on it!
  • 13%: The increase in e-commerce sales that will be driven by omnichannel options. With e-commerce facing issues from supply chain delays to employee shortages, online ordering may not be the most reliable bet to get holiday gifts in time.

Retailers are already gaining momentum for their in-person holiday initiatives:

  • CAMP: The experiential toy store is driving in-store traffic through holiday-themed events that merge the digital and physical. Currently going on: interactive Halloween Cosmic Camp exhibit and their Ferrara “Sweet & Scary Neighborhood” Halloween activation.
  • Klarna: The BNPL provider is branching further into in-store integrations in preparation for the holiday season with its recent acquisition of loyalty card bundling app Stocard — enabling them to better meet consumers’ desires to shop seasonal deals.
  • Macy’s: The iconic Macy’s Day parade’s in-person return is a sign of normalcy and joy. Especially with fun new floats like Baby Yoda making their debut.
  • Best Buy: The electronics store is gaining buzz for starting their Black Friday deals next week.


Limiting your Holiday shopping and socializing to online


Companies & brands can leverage momentum for the holiday spirit using the 5 drivers:

  1. Social Impact: People are looking to give back to their communities with their purchases. Participating in #GivingTuesday through gift & donation matching to a nonprofit aligned with your company’s purpose is a great way to stand out.
  2. Disruption: Consumers are approaching the 2021 holidays with heightened expectations after last year’s low-key celebrating & minimalist gifting — feeling fully in control to create their own cheer on their own terms.
  3. Innovation: Retailers can create FOMO for in-store experiences by going beyond what they’ve done in the past & above what is possible digitally.
  4. Polarization: Brands can benefit by offering targeted in-person experiences for Black Friday.
  5. Stickiness: Last year, Black Friday extended into a month-long event. This trend ticks up a notch for 2021 with some brands starting their Black Friday discounting in October.

Best Days Ahead,



Mike Berland

Momentum Maker, Author of Maximum Momentum, Founder & CEO of Decode_M