Black Friday online sales hit record high in US, monitors show

Physical outlet footfall slackens off by up to 9% as per downward trend in recent years

People shopping on Black Friday at Macy’s in New York. Photograph: Stephanie Keith

People shopping on Black Friday at Macy’s in New York. Photograph: Stephanie Keith

 

Americans splashed out record sums on Black Friday online deals last week but fewer of them went shopping in person, according to initial figures.

Sales in stores during Thanksgiving and Black Friday dropped between 4 and 7 per cent compared with last year, according to a preliminary analysis by the data provider RetailNext.

Footfall was estimated to have declined even more – by between 5 and 9 per cent – although those consumers who did show up spent more, driving average transaction values up about 3 per cent.

It was at least the fourth consecutive year of declines in both traffic and sales recorded by RetailNext. A group that uses a different methodology, ShopperTrak, found shopper visits for the two-day period fell just 1 per cent, less steep than the 1.7 per cent decline it recorded a year ago.

But as in-store business continued to weaken, online sales have soared to new highs.

Online spending on Black Friday leapt 24 per cent from a year ago to $6.22 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. Average discounts included 27 per cent off toys and 18 per cent off televisions and computers.

Cyber Monday, traditionally the main event for online bargains, was shaping up to be the largest online shopping day in US history with a forecast $7.8 billion sales haul. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018