Supply chain disruptions expected to affect Black Friday

By Anna Dailey | December 1, 2022

For the entirety of November, Black Friday dominates the advertising space. Black Friday, an integral part of many people’s Thanksgiving celebrations, is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. It is projected that 141 million adult Americans plan to participate in Black Friday shopping this year. Around 93 million consumers participated in Black Friday online in 2019. The once one-day event has even turned into a month-long one, with “pre Black Friday sales” starting in early November or even October.

On Black Friday, floods of people rush to retail stores to get their hands on the best deals. Black Friday greatly increases the demand in the supply chain, and retail stores endure disruptions to the supply chain as best as they can. In 2020 and 2021, supply chain issues due to COVID had big impacts on Black Friday. Over 100 million shoppers did their Black Friday shopping online in 2020. Even though COVID concerns and restrictions have relaxed since then, supply chain issues are still present and may affect Black Friday this year.

Factories in China have been producing at slower rates due to China’s zero COVID policy and lower water levels on the Mississippi river have led to stranded barges. These, among other factors, have led to stresses on the supply chain globally among other issues. While many more examples of disruptions to the supply chain exist, there may be an opportunity for consumers to take advantage of large sales. This is because many retail stores will likely sell inventory from last year that they are trying to get rid of.

On the other hand, stores may sell items at higher prices so they do not sell out too quickly while the supply chain is disrupted. According to, in 2021 “80% of surveyed retail executives expressed concerns over inventory shortages, according to KPMG's annual holiday shopping report.” However, most retailers are more optimistic this year.

Edited by Adam Auer