News Consultants



In this comprehensive report, Angela Thompson shares marketing insights on Black Friday patterning. 

Retailers’ promotions during Black Friday were significantly reduced this year; both in number of promotions offered and the richness of those offers

Retailers spread out their promotions for a longer period of time to reflect a lower in-store capacity and acknowledge a shift of consumer behavior driven by COVID-19. In order to provide a longer promotional time period, retailers were financially driven to reduce how high they discounted products

Further, with the expected increase of online orders, free shipping offers often required thresholds. 1/3 of the retailers offering free shipping required a minimum purchase; often around $50

Last year, more retailers shifted to a percentage reduction on specific styles or items (moving away from an entire store promotion viewed in 2018), and many followed a similar strategy in 2020. Select items were offered on promotion, frequently with a range of percentage discounts across the site, depending on the product or category

While mass retailers continued doorbusters, especially earlier in the holiday selling period, specialty retailers backed down from this strategy, as they mitigated their risk of selling low margin items online and while knowing that a drive to store push may not be as successful this year as in the past

GWP, PWP and PLCC messaging were also very low this year. Alternative financing options, such as Klarna and Affirm, were reinforced in direct marketing more frequently than observed in previous years

Retailers used their direct marketing communications to remind customers of BOPIS and curbside options. Few, however, capitalized on this method of pickup with an associated promotion for selecting this option over shipping.


Information in this report include:

  • Key takeaways from 2020
  • Methodology
  • Observations by brand 


Download the full report, 2020 Black Friday Patterning, from  



Angela Thompson shares a complimentary experiential and distinctive retail patterning observations in a detailed report, and provides observations on post COVID19 implications. 

Earlier this year, I conducted my annual experiential and distinctive retail patterning in (a pre-COVID-19) New York City.  While the world has shifted and the way in which retailers offer experiences has changed, I believe that there are still key takeaways from the patterning which can be applied to today’s shopping experience.

The goal of experiential retail is to engage the customer, increase brand loyalty and, ultimately, drive sales.  These findings may need to be altered into a virtual environment or they may inspire novel ideas to solve new in-store challenges. Either way – I’m hopeful that you will find this work interesting and helpful.  

HERE are the findings from 2020.  Previous years patterning as well as Black Friday Patterning, may all be viewed on my website.

Amongst the highlights: Starbucks’ Pick-up only store, Atelier Beauté Chanel brand immersion, Puma’s tech-enabled store + 17 more stores. 

Please feel free to share this patterning with others in your network whom you feel would also benefit from this work.  As always, I’m happy to chat with you further about these findings, brainstorm the next iteration of your retail strategy or conduct market research to get a pulse on your consumer sentiment.


Content includes:

  • Key takeaways
  • Methodology
  • Patterning themes comparison grid
  • Store by store recap including post COVID-19 recommendations
  • Select store year-to-year changes
  • Thompson Marketing consulting bio and capabilities


Download the full report, 2020 Experiential & Distinctive Retail Patterning + Post COVID-19 Recommendations, through Dropbox.