Thanksgiving, Black Friday store sales fall, online rises

Sales and traffic at U.S. brick-and-mortar stores on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday declined from last year, as stores offered discounts well beyond the weekend and more customers shopped online. Internet sales rose in the double digits on both days, surpassing $3 billion for the first time on Black Friday, according to data released on Saturday. Data from analytics firm RetailNext showed net sales at brick-and-mortar stores fell 5.0 percent over the two days, while the number of transactions fell 7.9 percent. Preliminary data from retail research firm ShopperTrak showed that shopper visits to such stores fell a combined 1 percent during Thanksgiving and Black Friday when compared with the same days in 2015. The data highlights the waning importance of Black Friday, which until a few years ago kicked off the holiday shopping season, as more retailers start discounting earlier in the month and opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day. “We knew it (holiday season) was going to be off to a slow start,” Shelley Kohan, vice president of retail consulting at RetailNext, said. Thanksgiving and Black Friday online sales tracked by Adobe Digital Index were $5.27 billion, up 18 percent from a year earlier and higher than its prior estimate of $5.05 billion. Black Friday sales rose 21.6 percent to $3.34 billion, with purchases made on mobile devices contributing more than $1 billion in revenue, both record sales for the day.