Black Fri­day on­line sales hit new high

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - BUSINESS - By Alex Veiga AP Busi­ness Writer

Hol­i­day shop­pers ea­ger to snag big dis­counts turned to the in­ter­net in record fash­ion last week, one track­ing com­pany said, driv­ing on­line sales on Black Fri­day to a new high.

Con­sumers spent $3.34 bil­lion shop­ping on­line on Fri­day, a 21.6 per­cent in­crease from the same day last year, ac­cord­ing to Adobe, which tracks on­line re­tail trans­ac­tions.

More than ever be­fore, shop­pers used their mo­bile de­vices to dial up deals on­line, the firm said, as mo­bile pur­chases surged 33 per­cent on Black Fri­day to $1.2 bil­lion.

Re­tail­ers also racked up on­line sales on Thanks­giv­ing Day and the day be­fore, the lat­est ev­i­dence that con­sumers are in­creas­ingly turn­ing to on­line shop­ping as an al­ter­na­tive to wad­ing into malls packed with hol­i­day sea­son bar­gain-hun­ters.

Col­lege stu­dent Emilia Ol­learis works at the Wa­ter Tower Place mall in Chicago but is do­ing vir­tu­ally all of her shop­ping on­line. She said she prefers to go to a store to get a close look at mer­chan­dise, but that’s it.

“I’ll go buy it on­line,” said Ol­learis, 24. “I’m not gonna wait in line for it.”

The trend also sug­gests that con­sumers are less will­ing to hold out for po­ten­tial on­line deals tra­di­tion­ally found on Cy­ber Mon­day, which is the Mon­day af­ter Thanks­giv­ing and has tra­di­tion­ally been the busiest day of the year for on­line shop­ping.

“We had pro­jected Cy­ber Mon­day to be a $3.36 bil­lion day, and to win the crown of largest shop­ping day ever,” said Ta­mara Gaffney, prin­ci­pal an­a­lyst and di­rec­tor at Adobe Dig­i­tal In­sights. “But Cy­ber Mon­day may

not have as much gas left in the tank.”

The wide­spread use of mo­bile phones and ac­cess to high-speed in­ter­net are likely con­tribut­ing to more shop­pers turn­ing to the in­ter­net ahead of Cy­ber Mon­day,

Gaffney said. Re­tail­ers are also in­creas­ingly mak­ing avail­able on­line the type of door-buster deals typ­i­cally re­served for store lo­ca­tions on Black Fri­day.

Lisa Collins of Gil­ford, New Hamp­shire, will buy gifts on­line if she finds a bet­ter price and free ship­ping. “Never pay full price,” she said.

She felt like prices were

bet­ter than in past years. “I think there’s bet­ter deals. I think they’re pay­ing at­ten­tion to on­line sales,” she said.

Tablets had some of the steep­est price mark­downs on­line this Black Fri­day, with an av­er­age dis­count of 25.4 per­cent, Adobe said. Tele­vi­sions were down an av­er­age of 23.2 per­cent, while mark­downs for toys

on­line were around 15 per­cent.

All told, shop­pers spent $5.27 bil­lion in on­line pur­chases on Thurs­day and Fri­day, up 17.7 per­cent from the two-day pe­riod last year, Adobe said.

Even as on­line spend­ing hit new highs this Black Fri­day, many shop­pers across the U.S. still ven­tured to malls look­ing for deals. The

Mall of Amer­ica in Min­nesota, which opened 24 years ago, re­ported that Fri­day was the high­est traf­fic day it can re­call.

Courtney Weitz of Mered­ith, New Hamp­shire, picked up a few small gifts at Tar­get in Con­cord early Satur­day. She wasn’t able to hit the stores on Black Fri­day or Thanks­giv­ing be­cause she had to work.

“I checked on­line and didn’t re­ally find any­thing I wanted,” said Weitz, 24. “I only came for a Swif­fer and tooth­paste, and I’m leav­ing with a bit more than that.”

All told, the Na­tional Re­tail Fed­er­a­tion projects that shop­pers will spend $655.8 bil­lion in Novem­ber and De­cem­ber. That would be a gain of 3.6 per­cent from a year ago.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Liang Giang Ying sits in a wagon full of pack­ages as her fa­ther pulls her through South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Fri­day.

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