Black Friday is a record on the Internet when U.S. shoppers stay home

Black Friday’s online sales hit a new record this year as pandemic-wary Americans filled virtual carts instead of real carts.

It is estimated that consumers spent $ 9 billion on U.S. retail sites on Black Friday, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracks online shopping. This represents a 22% increase from the previous record of $ 7.4 billion in 2019.

Meanwhile, physical store turnover plummeted as retailers tried to deter the masses by reducing their hours and restricting door-to-door transactions. U.S. business visits fell 52% on Black Friday, according to Sensormatic Solutions retail tracker. Traffic was slower in the Northeast and West than in the Midwest and South, ”said Brian Field, senior director of Sensormatic’s global retail consulting.

Jewelry and footwear showed the biggest drop in personal sales, according to retailer RetailNext. Sales of clothing decreased by 50%, while sales of household goods fell by 39%.

Black Friday, though, is likely to be one of the biggest personal shopping days in the U.S. this year, Field said. He says many still shop in person for the holidays, but choose days in the middle of the week when the crowd is smaller. Bigger store discounts and worries about long delivery times can also bring shoppers closer to Christmas.

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“Black Friday had a lot to lose, but part of it will be split over the holiday season,” Field said.

One trend that may persist after the end of the epidemic is that stores may remain closed on Thanksgiving Day, Field said. Since 2013, more and more stores have opened on Thanksgiving Day to match their competitors and launch on Black Friday. But it’s usually not a big day for retailers, and many stay closed this year. Thanksgiving store sales fell 95%, he said.

Field says stores can rethink the cost of paying employees and open Thanksgiving when they can easily make up for these online sales.

“I wonder if we’re seeing a season now that they were able to cut the cord if it gives them a break,” he said.

Adobe expects Monday to be the largest online sales day in U.S. history, with an estimated release of $ 10.8 to $ 12.7 billion.

One reason for the big numbers is that people buy things online like food and alcohol that they bought in person before the pandemic, Adobe said. As for traditional gifts, Hot Wheels cars, Lego sets, Apple AirPods, Samsung televisions and video games are among the biggest sellers.

Big retailers like Walmart and Target have benefited from the wave, but so have retailers, Adobe said. In large stores, sales increased by 403% on Thanksgiving and Black Friday compared to the October daily average, but sales at smaller retailers also increased by 349%.