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New retail winners emerged in the Black Friday fight against Amazon

Shoppers wait in line outside a Best Buy electronics store in Westbury, New York, U.S., November 24, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Shoppers wait in line outside a Best Buy electronics store in Westbury, New York, U.S., November 24, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Andy Swan is co-founder of LikeFolio, a company that provides social-media data to investors.

Did you go shopping this Black Friday weekend? Or did you sit at home and click away adding more and more to your Amazon (AMZN) cart?

If you’re like most Americans, online shopping is becoming a bigger and bigger part of your holiday spending. That’s a tough headwind for retailers to face. So we wanted to find out who was able to pull shoppers into stores over the still-important Black Friday shopping weekend.

To measure consumer reaction and figure out who came out as a winner and who might have lost, we utilize LikeFolio purchase intent data, which captures and analyzes tweets indicating the user is definitely planning to buy a brand or product or definitely making a purchase at a certain store.

Our research found that there is a whole new class of retail winners emerging in the fight against Amazon, while some of the more beloved names of just a few years ago are faltering in a big way. Let’s take a look at two clear-cut examples.

Best Buy (BBY) “Best in Class” for Black Friday Weekend

The chart below of LikeFolio data shows four spikes in purchase intent mentions for Best Buy. These four spikes are each of the Black Fridays for the past four years — this past weekend is on the far right.

Courtesy: Andy Swan
Courtesy: Andy Swan

As you can see, Best Buy is performing about the same this year as it did in 2016, bucking the year-over-year declines that had previously hurt the company so badly. Following that solid performance in 2016, 2017 proved to be a great year for Best Buy with its stock up almost 33% year to date. We think Best Buy is one to watch this holiday season and continuing into 2018 as shoppers rediscover the value of in-store shopping on large purchases for the home.

Target (TGT) Already Missing the Mark

Target, poor Target. Something is very wrong at Target. They definitely missed the mark this past weekend. The highest point on this chart, to the left, this is Black Friday 2016 and in comparison the small spike to the right is Black Friday 2017. That 2017 level is a pathetic “spike” for what is to be considered the most popular shopping weekend of the year.

Courtesy: Andy Swan
Courtesy: Andy Swan

Hopefully Target can come out of its slump after Cyber Monday since its announced some great deals in trying to keep up with Amazon. But, we are still sounding the alarm bells on Target, a company that seems confused about its future as it continues spending money on improving retail locations as Wal-Mart (WMT) and Amazon beat them to the online punch again and again.

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