Black Friday Forecast: 15% Retail Sales Growth, says MC SpendingPulse


According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, U.S. retail sales (excluding automotive) are expected to grow +15% on Black Friday this year compared to last year.

With many big-box retailers, department stores and outlet malls closed again on Thanksgiving Day, consumers will be gearing up for the main event – a Black Friday shopping blitz.

The return of shoppers to stores

Key trends to watch this Black Friday, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, include:

  • In-store shopping prevails: Building on last year’s in-store momentum and the post-pandemic return of doorbusters, window displays and brick-and-mortar collaborations are continuing to drive shoppers back into stores with in-store retail sales anticipated to be up +18% year-over-year.
  • Department store deals: Department stores are making a comeback with deals and discounts to entice consumers. This Black Friday, department store sales are anticipated to be up nearly +25% year-over-year as consumers shop online and in-store at these one-stop shops for all the gifts on their holiday shopping list.
  • Dining out for the holidays: Restaurants are expected to experience +35% year-over-year growth on Black Friday as consumers prioritize experiences and dining out with friends and family.
  • Tis the season for travel: Travel companies are also getting in on the promotional holiday. Separate from total retail sales, airlines (+39% YOY, +14% YO3Y) and lodging (+32% YOY, +40% YO3Y) are expected to experience double-digit growth on Black Friday as consumers plan their next getaway.

“Expect Black Friday shopping to be in full force across channels this year,” says Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated. “While retailers have already been heavily discounting this season, consumers and retailers are likely holding out for some special offers to land on the biggest promotional day of the year.”

October: a head start on holiday shopping

As anticipated, early holiday promotions drove consumers online and into stores. According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, October U.S. retail sales excluding automotive increased 9.5% year over year and 23.6% compared to October 2019. E-commerce sales in October grew 12.7% YOY and 96.0% YO3Y. Experiential sectors including restaurants, airlines and lodging all saw double-digit growth compared to both 2021 and 2019.

“In October we saw the strength in the labor market continue to support consumer purchasing power,” says Michelle Meyer, U.S. chief economist, Mastercard Economics Institute. “Coupled with heavy online promotions, consumers got a head start on their holiday shopping, fueling another strong month of retail sales.”

Note: Mastercard SpendingPulse measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment and is not adjusted for inflation.