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The Evolution Of Black Friday: 20 Retail Experts On What Matters This Shopping Season And Beyond

National Retail

Black Friday, the annual shopping bonanza that officially kicks off the strongest retail sales period of the year, has morphed into a confounding ordeal for U.S. retailers. 

From the rise of e-commerce to the mass shuttering of stores of all stripes to Amazon Prime Day pecking away $2B in sales earlier in 2019, Black Friday’s ironclad grip on shoppers is slipping.


Much is at stake for retailers who get it wrong right now — some might have hard decisions to make should the holiday shopping period not go well

Yet, a few things are still abundantly clear: Brick-and-mortar is not dead and still accounts for about 90% of all retail sales in the U.S.; and more than 114 million Americans will shop on Black Friday, kicking off a two-month holiday retail binge that is forecast to spur more than $727B in sales. 

We asked 20 retail experts four questions: 

Their responses show more excitement than fear about how retail is evolving, though they all are keeping close eyes on how this year will differ from past ones. And notably, not many of our experts plan to partake in Black Friday themselves. 

Click each of the questions to see how the experts replied. Responses are in their own words, but have been lightly edited for length, style and clarity.