U.S. shoppers made more purchases online on Black Friday than in the mall and stores.
The importance on the shopping calendar of Black Friday, or the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday, has waned in recent years due to the choice by many retailers to open their stores on Thursday evening, as well as to early holiday promotions and year-round discounts. Black Friday it’s increasingly turning into a day when shoppers do not necessarily flock to stores but spend heavily online.
For most retail chains, Black Friday store traffic and sales data is not necessarily grim as consumers continue to spend. Winning the transaction, whether online or in-store, has now become more important for retailers than where it occurs.
Top brick-and-mortar retailers like Walmart Inc. and Target Corp and Best Buy have continued to spend trying to expand their e-commerce operations to capture that growing online revenue.
Online sales rose more than 19.6%, reaching $7.4 billion on Black Friday, slightly shy of estimates of $7.6 billion, according to data from Adobe Analytics, which tracks transactions at 80 of the top 100 U.S. retailers. On Thanksgiving, it estimated sales grew 14.5% to $4.2 billion.
Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting for ShopperTrak, said the traditional pattern of shoppers visiting stores has been disrupted not only by online shopping but by offerings like “buy online and pick up in store,” Preliminary data from analytics firm RetailNext showed net sales at brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday fell 1.6%, which the firm said is slower than in previous years.