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Shoppers brave the weather for Black Friday while others log on to splurge

Friday, November 25, 2016 7:49
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That annual event where retailers try even harder to part gullible customers from their money – Black Friday – has got off to a strong start.

Department store giant Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) calls its customers “guests”, though it is not the most generous of hosts, as it expects its guests to pay for everything they want.

It reported a strong start to Black Friday, with its online shopping site having its biggest day ever, .with traffic and sales eclipsing 2015 Cyber Monday, driven largely by “door-busters” in electronics.

Televisions were a top seller, with more than 3,200 TVs sold every minute in the first hour of store opening, Target said.

Rival Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M) was less hyperbolic, with the company’s chief executive officer Terry Lundgren telling CNBC that traffic was steady into the morning at the flagship store in Herald Square. The store opened at 5pm on Thanksgiving Day and around 16,000 were waiting when the doors opened, which was around 1,000 more than last year, Lundgren said.

Bargain hunters also queued in the rain outside JC Penney Company inc (NYSE:JCP) and Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) stores across the Northeast, waiting for their stores to open, CNBC reported.

Just about every retailer that made an announcement seemed happy with the way things were going, and the National Retail Federation has predicted that more than 137mln people would do some shopping over the weekend, with Friday likely to be the busiest day. It predicted retailers’ takings over the holiday weekend would rise 3.6% to US$655.8bn, slightly above the 3.4% level it has been since 2009.

According to Adobe Digital Insights, which measures four-fifths of all transactions from the top 100 US retailers, online sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday are expected to grow year-on-year by 15.6% and 11.3%, respectively.

Shoppers spent US$1.15bn online between midnight and 5.00pm ET, which was a 13.6% increase over last year, according to Adobe Digital Insights.  

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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