Physical retail 'still relevant' on Black Friday

Ann Santiago
November 29, 2017

Cyber Monday is projected to hit a new record as the largest online sales day in history with $6.59 billion by the end of the day.

From Nov. 1 through Nov. 27, $50 billion has been spent online thus far, on track to reach $100 billion by the New Year, the firm said Tuesday.

Black Friday always creates a buzz in the retail sector, but this year, the event is attracting, even more, attention from Wall Street who are looking to gauge the events impact on physical store sales. Almost $6.6 billion in sales were forecast by the end of the day, up about 17 percent from a year ago, according to Adobe.

Top sellout products: The items that sold out the quickest these holidays were accessories (29 percent), tops (20 percent), footwear (17 percent), dresses (8 percent) and bottoms (8 percent). ShopperTrak added that after Black Friday, Dec. 23 and Dec. 16 - both Saturdays - will be the second and third busiest shopping days of the season. Furthermore, 61.1% of visits to retail websites were for mobile devices.

"There has been a significant amount of debate surrounding the shifting importance of brick-and-mortar retail, and the fact that shopper visits remained intact on Black Friday illustrates that physical retail is still highly relevant and, when done right, profitable", said Brian Field, senior director of advisory services for ShopperTrak. It is a season for gift giving, and the increased retail "traffic" in the stores generally gives a boost to most categories-people products or pet.

Online retailers have not yet surpassed the total number of sales traditional stores make during the holiday shopping season despite their overall growth. Well, bricks-and-mortar store foot fall was down, albeit by less than one percent year-on-year, according to ShopperTrak. Discount department stores saw a more notable increase at 64 percent - but at 10,435 establishments by 2016, they have been unable to keep pace with online retailers.

Adobe estimates that the largest price drops on Cyber Monday were for toys with an average discount of 18.8 percent, followed by television sets at 21.1 percent and computers at 14.7 percent.

I bought nothing on Friday, online or offline, although I had picked up a couple of things earlier in the week when the Black Friday offers kicked in online.

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