US retailers raked in a record $7.9 billion in online sales on Black Friday and Thanksgiving, up 17.9 percent from a year ago, according to Adobe Analytics, which measures transactions at the largest 100 USA web retailers, on Saturday.
Black Friday and Thanksgiving online sales in the USA rose to record highs, while brick-and-mortar store traffic fell slightly, heralding divergent trends in retail industry in the year-end shopping season, according to retail analytics firms on Sunday.
Although the numbers hit a record high in the USA, they were still no match for the US$25.4 billion total online sales recorded during the 24-hour Singles' Day sales on Nov 11 - Alibaba's largest shopping festival. More traditional retailers put a lot of time and money into modifying and upgrading their respective websites so consumers could purchase delivery orders in bulk, according to Reuters.
More complete data on in-store sales is expected from the National Retail Federation on Tuesday. Several chains tightened store inventories as well, to ward off any post-holiday liquidation that would weigh on profits. Both physical and online retail players squared off, with Souq's White Friday competing against the Super Sale running at Dubai's malls, according to Gulf News. There was little sign of the wild shopper frenzy customary of Black Fridays from last years.
Although a large portion of sales over the last four days were completed via a smart phone or computer, Americans spent just about $1 million per minute on Black Friday, according to e-commerce platform Shopify. Meanwhile, store visits exclusively on Black Friday dropped less than 1 percent compared with 2016, essentially remaining unchanged.
USA buyer confidence has been increasing over this past year, due to a labour market that is beating out jobs, rising home prices and stock markets that are hovering at record highs.