Thanks­giv­ing, Black Fri­day sales up 9%

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - MARKET PLACE - By Anne D’Innocenzio AP Re­tail Writer

NEW YORK >> Shop­pers put in a strong show­ing on Thanks­giv­ing Day and Black Fri­day.

Hol­i­day spending rose 9 per­cent Thurs­day and Fri­day com­bined, com­pared with the same two-day pe­riod last year, ac­cord­ing to First Data.

The bump was fu­eled by shop­pers turn­ing to on­line deals.

E-com­merce sales rose 10.8 per­cent for the two-day pe­riod, while sales at phys­i­cal stores grew 8.6 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to First Data, which an­a­lyzed on­line and in-store pay­ments across dif­fer­ent forms of pay­ment cards from nearly one mil­lion mer­chants Thanks­giv­ing and Fri­day. The data cap­tures about 40 per­cent of all card trans­ac­tions in the U.S. but ex­cludes cash.

The Thanks­giv­ing week­end kicks of the hol­i­day shop­ping sea­son though stores have in­creas­ingly started their sales ear­lier in Oc­to­ber. The Fri­day af­ter Thanks­giv­ing — known as Black Fri­day — used to un­of­fi­cially mark the kickoff to door-buster sales, but now re­tail­ers are open­ing ear­lier on Thanks­giv­ing. But while the hol­i­day week­end has lost some of its punch, it still sets the tone for the sea­son.

“It was strong shop­ping,” said Rishi Ch­habra, vice pres­i­dent, in­for­ma­tion and an­a­lyt­ics prod­ucts, at First Data. “But peo­ple are shop­ping on­line more. And that trend keeps go­ing up and up.”

Ac­cord­ing to First Data, al­most 25 per­cent of the hol­i­day dol­lars spent over the two-day pe­riod came from e-com­merce, up from 18 per­cent last year and nearly 16 per­cent in 2014. Elec­tron­ics and ap­pli­ances were by far the big at­trac­tions, with the cat­e­gory en­joy­ing a 26.5 per­cent in­crease in sales, fu­eled by shop­pers’ in­ter­est in TVs and other new gad­gets. That com­pared to just a 2.3 per­cent in­crease in the year-ago pe­riod.

Four of the seven cat­e­gories — which also in­clude fur­ni­ture and per­son­al­care items — that First Data tracks showed slower sales growth in stores com­pared with on­line. But when it came to elec­tron­ics, shop­pers pre­ferred to buy the prod­ucts in the stores for the hol­i­day start. Elec­tron­ics and ap­pli­ance stores saw a nearly 28 per­cent sales growth, while for on­line, that growth was a lit­tle over 11 per­cent.

Over­all, the av­er­age dol­lar amount spent per per­son for the two-day pe­riod rose to $75.06, up from $72.84 a year ago. That fig­ure for elec­tron­ics and ap­pli­ances grew by 34 per­cent to $163.76. But cloth­ing and ac­ces­sories stores saw shop­pers on av­er­age spend $80.55, down from $81.63 a year ago amid heavy dis­count­ing. And sport­ing goods, hobby, books and mu­sic took more of a hit, with the av­er­age ticket size fall­ing to $78.74 from $90.15.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Shop­pers carry their pur­chases as they walk though the steam com­ing from the sub­way along Fifth Av­enue on Black Fri­day in New York on Fri­day.

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