Black Friday appears to have flopped this year, with tons of merchandise still sitting in the stores days after the sale. Based on viral online videos, it seems many people opted out of major Black Friday spending.
TVs used to be one of the big ticket items people went for on Black Friday. However, in a viral TikTok, Best Buy customer Marinés (@mari_nes87) showed that the day after the sales floor was still full of unsold TVs and there were barely any people in the store. “The day after Black Friday, all the TVs are still here. All of them are still here. Look, all the TVs. What happened?”
Some people speculate that people no longer turn out for Black Friday the way they used to because the discounts aren’t high enough, and they’ve caught on to retailer tricks, like inflating the price on an item just to “drop” it for the sale. They’ve also cited high cost of living prices—from rent to food costs—as another reason people may not prioritize goods like getting a new TV.
The video has amassed more than 2.9 million views since Nov. 25.
“We have tvs. We need Black Friday grocery prices,” a top comment read.
“Maybe if they went back to OG Black Friday sales of $100 for them, no one’s paying $500 lol 0% off,” a person said.
“I don’t know if we’re all too broke to afford it or we’re just not falling for it anymore, but I love this so much,” another wrote.
@mari_nes87 day after Black Friday #blackfriday2023 ♬ MONACO – Bad Bunny
In another viral video, a customer showed that her local Target was also empty on Black Friday and exposed their fake TV deals. In the clip, the TVs are listed with a special Black Friday promotion, but when she slides the Black Friday price card out behind it is the previous sale price listed with the same discount.
The assumption is that Target was trying to pass off their regular discounts as Black Friday promotions. But consumers expect Black Friday promotions to be actual deals—not the same price they’d get any other day of the year.
However, spending reports indicate that people still spent money on Black Friday but opted to get their deals online instead of going in person. Gone are the days of duking it out with strangers in the store aisle over a discounted item.
Compared to last year, overall online shopping went up by 7.5%, CNBC reported. With online Black Friday deals, consumers are more in control of the discounts they get and where they spend their money since they’re easily able to compare pricing across stores.
But, shoppers are still budget-conscious. Compared to last year, the use of “Buy Now, Pay Later” options went up 47%.
And despite TVs seemingly not budging much in stores, online electronics like smart watches and TVs were the most sold category. “I do think the paradigm has changed around the in-store Black Friday experience, the long lines and things like that,” Vivek Pandya, a lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, told CNBC.
The Daily Dot reached out to Marinés for comment via Instagram DM and to Best Buy for comment via email.
Update 1:52pm CT, Nov. 30: A Walmart shopper, Nikki Dean (@nikkideanauthor), filmed a similar scene at her local Walmart. She said she stopped in to pick up a few things on Saturday, the day after Black Friday, and noticed all the items that went on sale for the day were still in the store. She said the sight made her “strangely happy.” “I’ve never seen so much stuff still in the aisles but of course cereal is still $7 a box,” Dean said.
Viewers chalked up all the Black Friday items still being in stores to the state of Americans’ finances and how bad the deals were. Many retail stores only offered 20%-30% this year, and “34% of Americans said they’re either struggling or in crisis,” according to Ramsey Solutions.