Stores that Closed Doors on Thanksgiving and Black Friday Outperformed Competitors Online

U.S retailers that closed their stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday outperformed competitors online, according to global digital analytics firm SimilarWeb.

Despite closing its doors and urging its customers to “Opt Outside” on both days, U.S. retailer REI saw growth in online traffic from customers on both days.

The REI site saw a 10% combined web and desktop increase in one-day traffic on Thanksgiving, followed by a further 26% one-day rise on Black Friday. Customers opted to continue shopping, despite the home page on Friday informing customers that all 143 stores were closed and urging them to “join us outside.”

“Despite a well-publicized promotional campaign urging people to do outdoors pursuits, customers of REI also appear to have found time to shop,” said Pascal Cohen, SimilarWeb’s Digital Insights Manager. “The company saw a rise in traffic as many customers decided to opt online.”

Other retailers who sought to reclaim Thanksgiving for family time, by closing their brick-and-mortar stores also performed better than many competitors on the day.

GameStop saw a one-day Thanksgiving rise of 132%, Staples (120%), PetSmart (69%) and Nordstrom and Pier1 both saw a 54% one-day rise in traffic.

“In a year over year comparison this year and last year, the retailers who closed their stores performed better than their leading competitors,” Cohen said. “In addition, day over day they also performed better for visits.”