On­line hol­i­day shop­ping is off to a record start

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - News - BY MATT O'BRIEN As­so­ci­ated Press

The phys­i­cal rush of Black Fri­day and the arm­chair brows­ing of Cy­ber Mon­day are blend­ing into one big hol­i­day shop­ping event as more cus­tomers buy items on­line and pick them up at brick-and-mor­tar stores.

Adobe An­a­lyt­ics re­ported Satur­day that more cus­tomers are go­ing to stores to get items they bought on­line. That trend con­trib­uted to a record $6.22 bil­lion spent on­line Fri­day, up nearly 24 per­cent from last year.

But the fastest-grow­ing on­line shop­ping day is Thanks­giv­ing. On­line sales to­taled $3.7 bil­lion on Thurs­day, up 28 per­cent from last year.

It’s a sign that re­tail­ers are merg­ing on­line busi­ness with their phys­i­cal stores even as fewer peo­ple travel to those stores on Black Fri­day. Wal­mart, Kohl’s and Tar­get are among ma­jor re­tail­ers that are ex­pand­ing the num­ber of stores where you can pick up on­line or­ders.

Adobe re­ports a record $2.1 bil­lion in sales from cus­tomers on their smart­phones. About a third of on­line Black Fri­day sales were from phones.

Shop­perTrak, which tracks Black Fri­day foot traf­fic, re­ported a 1.7 per­cent de­cline from last year. The firm pre­dicts that eight of the sea­son’s 10 busiest in-per­son shop­ping days are to come, in part be­cause this year there are four Satur­days in De­cem­ber be­fore Christ­mas.

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