Economy

Online surge marks start of solid Thanksgiving sales

Online surge marks start of solid Thanksgiving sales

"But yeah, we have family bring out Thanksgiving dinner, but it's a good tradition", said Michael Wingo, a dedicated Black Friday shopper. As of early morning Friday, the Macy's flagship store in NY, which opened all night, had a steady stream of shoppers, mostly tourists.

The biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, is here.

Shoppers who want an early jump on deals can start shopping for Walmart's big deals online beginning late Wednesday night and continuing through Thursday. Customers, frustrated with long checkout lines, can even check out at Walmart and other stores with a salesperson in store aisles. Much of the growth came from mobile users, who Adobe estimates accounted for more than 50 percent of traffic to e-commerce sites and almost 37 percent of total sales.

Helping drive this trend is the increased optimization of retailers' browsing and checkout on smartphones, Adobe said, resulting in 5.2% shorter smartphone visits on Thanksgiving compared to previous year. The sales totals over the next month will be a good indicator of whether consumers simply paused to catch their breath or feel less optimistic about the economy in 2019.

A National Retail Federation survey estimated that consumers will spend, on average, about $1,007 per shopper, which is about 4.1 percent more than previous year. The sales growth marks a slowdown from last year's 5.3 percent, which was the largest gain since 2010.

Online shopping spend is expected to grow 33% compared to 2017, according to GlobalData Retail.

Adobe Analytics, which tracks online retail spending, reported Thursday that Thanksgiving should reach a record $3.7 billion in online retail sales, up 29 percent from the same year ago period. "We are watching the next edition of Black Friday, a more civilized and opportunistic edition".

There was a steady flow of traffic heading in to University Park Mall.

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One after another, major retailers faced tech issues as they kicked off Black Friday sales.

At 6 a.m. sharp the plastic wrapping is taken off of giant pallets of doorbusters and the frenzy begins.

"I am spending more, the mood generally is more upbeat", said Sharon Neidert, 57, visiting New York City from Ohio.

Meanwhile, an investigation by consumer group Which? found nine out of 10 Black Friday deals they investigated could be purchased for the same, or a cheaper price, at different times of the year.

John Scott of Howland, who said he was not a fan of shopping, was waiting outside Macy's for an hour-and-a-half for his wife and granddaughters, noting he had trouble finding a parking spot and already had waited in one 55- minute line.

"It's just fun to be at the mall on Black Friday", said Amy Stalknecht of Alexandria.

"I am nearly done, this is the last stuff I need".

One of the busiest shopping days of the year was off to a strong start, said Neil Saunders at GlobalData Retail.


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