Sci-tech

Shopping peaks on biggest US annual sales event

Shopping peaks on biggest US annual sales event”

Retailers like Target, Walmart, Best Buy and Kohl's opened their doors on the holiday, followed quickly by other stores on Black Friday.

Black Friday remains one of the busiest shopping days of the year - last year, more than 165 million people shopped between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. That means customers have six fewer days to shop than they typically do. But not every shopper is there for the deals. But the crowds grew bigger an hour later. Still, she arrived at Macy's Herald Square in Manhattan with her son at 6. a.m. on Friday.

Spot checks on the ground showed there were fewer shoppers this year as retail chains started offering discounts earlier than usual to make up for a shorter holiday season this year.

As for the shortened calendar, she prefers it.

"He wanted to experience all of the excitement so I took him out, and he's excited actually", she said.

Seturah Winkler, 43, was shopping in the women's shoe department with her friend.

Winkler had already spent $1,000 Thursday on coats, comforters and towels and was back for more.

Friday morning also kicks off in-store sales at stores that closed on the holiday including Lowe's, Home Depot and Costco, which experienced issues with its website and app most of Thursday. "I love the thrill of it".

Adobe Analytics predicts a loss of $1 billion in online revenue from a shortened season. It forecasts that holiday sales will rise between 3.8% and 4.2%, an increase from the disappointing 2.1% growth seen in the November and December 2018 period.

Last year's holiday sales were hurt by turmoil over the White House trade policy with China and a delay of almost a month in data collection because of a government shutdown. That compares with an average annual increase of 3.7% over the past five years.

Sales between November and December are expected to increase between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent compared with past year despite the 18 percent drop in the number of days of the old-school Thanksgiving to Christmas holiday shopping, according to the National Retail Federation.

"This has been a really good start", said Rod Sides, vice chairman and leader of US retail and distribution practice at Deloitte LLP.

Companies in the retail, entertainment and tourism industries once again tried to entice shoppers after Thanksgiving with a bevy of offers on a day synonymous with American consumer culture and notorious "doorbuster" sales that start at the crack of dawn.

"The overall picture is positive", said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, a retail consultancy.

That's left consumers as the main drivers.

But the ever-growing popularity of online shopping and holiday discounts that started weeks earlier dampened the frenzy. The survey of 7,917 adult consumers was conducted October 31 through November 6.

"Consumers are in good financial shape and willing to spend a little more on gifts for the special people in their lives this holiday season", said Matthew Shay, Chief Executive of the National Retail Federation.



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