Consumers and retailers win big over Thanksgiving holiday | National Retail Federation

Black Friday footfall

Holiday shoppers set records over Thanksgiving weekend

Online sales in the United Kingdom on Black Friday were up 11.7 per cent on a year ago, ending at £1.4 billion, according to online retail trade body IMRG. They spent about 25 percent more than the average shopper. Adobe's research wing found that e-commerce sales clocked in at $2.87 billion on Thanksgiving and $5.03 billion on Black Friday, beating estimates on both days. The NRF reiterated its projection for retail sales to grow 3.6% to 4%, and noted that favorable weather may have helped holiday sales over the weekend. They spent $49 more on average than in-store-only shoppers.

USA retailers are expected to continue raking in holiday spending cash Monday, just three days after notching record sales on "Black Friday".

Neil Stern, a senior partner at Chicago-based McMillan-Doolittle, experienced it firsthand as national retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Amazon.com and Target Corp. competed for sales by offering discounts and promotions. In addition, more than 58 million shopped online only, and more than 51 million shopped in stores only.

Retail stocks were up broadly today as department store chains and big-box stores continued to rally on bullish reports on the holiday weekend and key selling days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

"This year, consumers 65 and older proved that online shopping isn't just for Generation Z and Millennials", Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. 29 percent made a purchase on their smartphone. Not only were dollar-off discounts better, but consumers were more likely to find deals that could be stacked using Cash Back Offers and/or discount e-gift cards combined with retailers' typical promo codes or sales for maximum savings. For some retailers, those numbers were even higher: Shopify, an e-commerce software provider for small- and medium-sized businesses, says that mobile transactions accounted for 60 percent of all sales yesterday, up 11 percent from previous year.

Sometimes the best-selling product on Thanksgiving weekend isn't even on sale. "Consumers are also becoming more savvy and efficient online shoppers".

ShopperTrak, a firm that tracks store foot traffic, said shopper visits declined 1.6 percent over the combined Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday period, a much smaller decline that in recent years. "But the fact that physical retail kind of held its own, that was a bit of a surprise and a fairly good sign that we could see a decent holiday".

Given the headwinds in the industry right now - heavy debt loads, dying malls, rapidly shifting consumer tastes - many struggling companies may fall even further behind during the holiday season.

Last year, NRF's Thanksgiving weekend survey didn't include Cyber Monday sales, making the two non-comparable.

In many ways, retailers are primed for a blowout holiday season.

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