Black Friday starts when the last slice of pumpkin pie is finished

Black Friday starts when the last slice of pumpkin pie is finished

It would have been easier to turn on their computers over plates of leftover turkey and take advantage of the Black Friday deals most retailers now offer online.

The big picture: Black Friday once marked the start of the holiday shopping season but as online shopping grew in popularity, consumer spending habits shifted.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, shoppers had already spent $1.75 billion online.

"Overall, Black Friday doesn't have the sense of urgency as in the past and feels more like a busy regular weekend day in numerous stores", said Dana Telsey at Telsey Advisory Group.

Consumers almost doubled their online orders that they picked up at stores from Wednesday until Thanksgiving, said Adobe Analytics, which tracks online spending.

The holiday shopping season presents a big test for a US economy, whose overall growth so far this year has relied on a burst of consumer spending.

Last week, official data for October showed British retail sales growth slowed to a six-month low, with shoppers holding off winter clothing purchases due to mild weather.

One of the busiest shopping days of the year was off to a strong start, Neil Saunders at GlobalData Retail said.

Shoppers spent $1.75 billion online by 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, with smartphone sales lifting overall online spending by 28.6 per cent from a year ago, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracks transactions from 80 of the top 100 United States online retailers.

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Many shoppers said Black Friday shopping is as much about the spectacle as it is about door-buster deals, the Associated Press reported.

Shoppers picked up big ticket items such as TVs, Apple iPads and Watches in-store and online at Target Corp, while phones, toys, gaming consoles and cookware were top sellers at Walmart Inc. One estimate by Citigroup said the Black Friday weekend would only make up 10 percent of retail sales in the fourth quarter.

"We're not run-over-people, die-hard shoppers", said Jenkins, a nurse from Lucasville, Ohio. She found a good deal online for a gift for her boyfriend, then arrived at the store to retrieve it.

For some families, shopping on Black Friday is a tradition. Adobe claims to have collected more than a trillion data points from 80 of the top 100 US e-commerce websites for its report.

Target's mobile checkout program, which is being rolled out to all its 1,800 stores, is similar to Walmart's.

J. Crew's website crashed on Black Friday. Marketers are starting to recognize the need to get off to a fast start, as Thanksgiving email sends increased 26% compared to past year.

One after another, major retailers faced tech issues as they kicked off Black Friday sales.

Among those in the lines were families who see Black Friday as an additional holiday, even getting shirts made for the annual event. "That's why I came out and I am glad I got what I needed and got out cause it's insane".

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