174 million U.S. consumers showed up to shop over the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, 10 million more than was anticipated. The National Retail Federation, which had foretold strong holiday sales helped by improving consumer faith, said on Friday that fair weather across much of the nation had also helped attract customers into stores. Multichannel shoppers spent $82 more on average than the online-only shopper, NRF noted, and $49 more on average than the in-store shopper. At least not as far as online sales are concerned, with a whopping $6.59 billion spent in United States e-stores on Cyber Monday, compared to "just" $5.03 billion the day after Thanksgiving. As of last night, Cyber Monday was on track to hit $6.57 billion in sales, up almost 17 percent from 2016, making it the biggest one yet.
In order to paint a more complete picture of holiday sales at retailers with physical locations, the data science team at Skyhook Wireless analyzed millions of mobile location signals, cross referenced with its database of points of interest venues, to compare traffic at six major retailers on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday to two days during the week prior (November 16th and 17th).
Retail research firm ShopperTrak said store traffic fell 1.6 percent on Thanksgiving and Black Friday compared with the same two days a year ago.
- Shoppers ages 25 to 34 spent the most, an average of $419.52. Instead of analyzing individual results of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, the NRF survey took a holistic approach that better reflects the mindsets of modern shoppers.
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But this year, whether a sale is made online or in a store, is becoming less important, Federation President and Chief Executive Matthew Shay said in a conference call Tuesday to announce the results. While pressure from Amazon and other online channels remains, many retailers, like Nordstrom and Kohl's, have been able to avoid falling profits in spite of the upheaval. The survey found that more than 64 million shopped both online or in stores.
A number of outlets reported solid traffic and sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The research firm said the $6.59 billion spent on a day dedicated to e-commerce was a 16.8 percent increase from a year ago and resulted in the largest USA online shopping day in history.
The 2017 holiday shopping season is off to a healthy start, with consumer spending on Black Friday reaching a record $5 billion. Though, retail research firm ShopperTrak said store traffic fell less than 1 % on Black Friday, bucking industry foresight of a sharper decline.
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The NRF said it still expects retail sales to grow by 3.6 to 4 percent this holiday season.
As for destinations, 43% of consumers shopped department stores, 42% shopped online retailers, 32% shopped electronic stores, 31% shopped clothing and accessories stores, and 31% shopped discount stores.
Websites offer price guides of discounted merchandise at competing websites.
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