- A report by Coresight Research analysed the in-store shopping experiences of 32 brands on Black Friday and found that store activity and lines varied significantly across the board.
- Of the 32 retailers analysed, Coresight reported that 25 offered Black Friday discounts, at an average rate of 37-47%.
- Here are the best and worst Black Friday brick-and-mortar experiences, based on Coresight’s findings.
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For shoppers brave enough to face the Black Friday crowds last week, many shoppers found that the experiences at some stores were far better than others.
According to a report by Coresight Research, store activity and lines varied significantly across stores this year, though home goods and consumer electronics were the most popular shopping categories. As part of the research firm’s annual Black Friday shopping report, the team examined 32 brands by visiting 65 total stores “at outlets, luxury malls, downtown locations, neighbourhood centres, and regional malls,” the report states.
Across the 32 brands, Coresight found that 25 offered Black Friday discounts, at an average rate of 37-47%. Additionally, researchers noted an uptick in in-store technology offerings this year, like buy-online-pick-up-in-store kiosks, self-checkout, and digital payment.
Coresight ranked each of the brands’ in-store experience based on four main categories – brand building, experience, service, and technology integration – and allotted points to each retailer. Coresight used a “star” system, that allocates one red star (for one point), a half red star (for half a point), or a black star (for zero points), for a maximum of four stars.
Here are the best and worst physical retail experiences of Black Friday, according to Coresight.
Bloomingdale’s was the only retailer to receive four stars for its “fun experiences, good services, taste testing, and discovery via new brands,” researchers wrote in the report.
Despite its “great merchandise,” Ross received zero stars for an in-store experience that “disappointed” and for offering no Black Friday promotions.
Worst: Victoria’s Secret
Victoria’s Secret also received zero stars, though researchers noted it delivered a “consistent brand experience” and offered several promotions.
Best: Ulta Beauty
Ulta received high marks of 3.5 stars for “excellent branding” and an “enthusiastic sales staff.”
Best: Bed Bath & Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond also snagged 3.5 stars for an “overall decent shopping experience with strong Black Friday deals.”
Marshalls received just half a star due to particularly messy and crowded stores, according to Coresight. Additionally, several products were missing tags and labels, making it challenging to discern what was on sale.
Though Walmart experienced a few blips during its early online sales on Wednesday, Coresight found that the stores were very busy and online shoppers were especially enticed by gamification and strong deals.
Worst: Lucky Brand
Lucky Brand received just half a star for customer service, and researchers found the brand to be particularly “far behind in offering a retail experience and using technology.”
Worst: Nike Outlet
While the Nike Outlet was a popular Black Friday destination thanks to its 30% sales, the lines were long with “even longer lines to check out.”
Sears received low marks for its “very low-tech store” and weak foot traffic despite its positioning in a mall that was particularly busy on Black Friday.
Worst: Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor received just half a star for brand building given that the store was “practically empty” and there were “more staff than customers.”
Worst: Banana Republic
Banana Republic received just one star for weak customer service.
Though Coresight researchers found that “the store was decorated beautifully,” its minimal discounts were “not compelling or well marked.” Still, Nordstrom received three stars for its plethora of brands and its “smattering of new discoveries.”
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