Black November? Experts say inflation could be driving early holiday shopping sales

Black November? Experts say inflation could be driving early holiday shopping sales

Black November? Experts say inflation could be driving early holiday shopping sales

Many stores in Minnesota are running in-person Black Friday deals early this year.

Experts told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it could be due in part to rising inflation.

New data from the Consumer Price Index released Tuesday shows “all items, less food and energy” cost about 4% more this year compared to last year.

The cost of clothing, for example, is up nearly 3%.

Because of this, consumers are budgeting more for the holidays, with 62% of people surveyed by the National Retail Federation saying sales and promotions are even more important to them this year than last year.

“We’ve got this ‘Black November’ now. It’s not Black Friday anymore. It’s a whole month of sales and all the big retailers are trying to get the one up on the other retailer, so they start offering sales sooner and sooner,” said retail expert Kim Sovell, a senior participating adjunct professor of marketing at the University of St. Thomas. “That is an attempt to get consumers into the mood to spend early, which actually if you’re trying to save money, spending early and catching those early sales is a good idea.”

Despite the pressures of rising inflation, the National Retail Federation predicts holiday shopping will break records this year, surpassing last year by up to 4%, with the average person spending $620 on gifts.

Sovell said the state of the economy is leading to other trends this year as well, such as giving gift cards or “experiences” instead of goods.

“Almost a quarter of holiday shoppers say they plan to give the gift of an experience this year, which is up almost 20% from last year,” Sovell said.

Local malls expect an uptick in in-person shopping this holiday season.

Mall of America in Bloomington is preparing for an increase in crowds on Black Friday after seeing nearly 200,000 shoppers on Black Friday last year.

The mall will open at 7 a.m., with 4,000 shoppers receiving a Black Friday Mystery Card to trade in for a prize, valued from $20 to $600.

The festivities include a new Doorbuster Zone.

“So people have the chance to work with some characters and local celebrities to bust down doors to see what their prizes are this year,” explained Jill Renslow, Mall of America’s chief business development and marketing officer. “This is brand new to lean into that tradition of doorbusters.”

The first 200 people in line at the north entrance of the mall will also get a $25 Mall of America gift card, with one shopper receiving a $2,500 gift card.

Rosedale Center in Roseville is also trying new attractions for Black Friday, including Not Your Mother’s Meat Raffle, where people can win prizes in Potluck Food Hall, such as $285 worth of pizza and $310 worth of lobster rolls.