US shopping season starts with record high online sales

Washington: Black Friday and Thanksgiving online sales in the US rose to record highs, while brick-and-mortar store traffic fell slightly, heralding divergent trends in retail industry in the year-end shopping season, according to retail analytics firms on Sunday.

The online sales on Black Friday and Thanksgiving rose to $7.9 billion, a record high, and up 17.9 per cent from a year ago, said Adobe Analytics in a latest report, which covers transactions at the largest 100 US online retailers, Xinhua reported.

Cyber Monday, the Monday after the Thanksgiving, is expected to rake in $6.6 billion in online sales, making it the biggest US online shopping day in history, said the report.

The sales data for traditional brick-and-mortar stores is still unavailable. The National Retail Federation (NRF) said fair weather across much of the nation had helped draw shoppers into stores. NRF will release its data of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday on Tuesday.

Preliminary data tracking shoppers’ visits to physical stores on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday shows a year-over-year decline of 1.6 percent, according to retail research firm ShopperTrak.

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