MEMPHIS, Tenn. – – Mid-South shoppers took advantage of online deals Monday and experts predict that this year’s Cyber Monday will produce a record amount of sales. Sadly, that wasn’t the case at brick and mortar stores over the weekend with fewer customers coming out for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
Bryan Roberson owns Breakaway Running in Midtown. He says he had half as many customers as he normally does over the shopping holiday. He attributes the drop to COVID-19.
“I mean, it was definitely a drop from previous years on this weekend,” Roberson said, “I think we’ve gotten used to this year kind of adjusting the goal posts a little bit. What we can expect from people getting out which people aren’t getting out in masses which is a good thing.”
But bad for business. It was a similar story for Tinder Box Fine Cigars downtown where this past shopping weekend was also a dud.
“We didn’t feel like it was hit like a normal Black Friday which was a little odd this year but with the pandemic people aren’t trying to go out as much I guess,” manager Emily Collins said.
Instead, people are staying home, perhaps finding bargains online. According to Adobe Analytics, online sales were up nearly 22 percent from last year’s Black Friday. Additionally, Cyber Monday is expected to produce a record $12.7 billion in sales.
Roberson is worried because the approaching winter months are typically slow and he’s already dealing with fewer customers than ever before.
“We’re thinking ahead, thinking of what we can do, honestly more community outreach, keep people running, keep people motivated to run,” Roberson said.
He says this past weekend was disappointing but it was still more business than he gets on a typical weekend since the pandemic hit.