Retailers Rejoice! Black Friday and Cyber Monday Racked Up Record Sales

Retailers are already having a happy holiday season.

Traditional retailers and online stores racked up record sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as shoppers turned out in droves to snag deals on items including laptops, toys, mobile devices and gaming consoles. Stores they visited included Best Buy, Macy’s, Target, and Toys ‘R’ Us. Online retail king Amazon beat all other competitors for online sales over the weekend.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday, respectively the Friday and Monday following the Thanksgiving holiday, are two of the most important shopping days of the year for retailers.

The strong sales are a welcome relief and promise a good start to the holiday buying season for so-called bricks and mortar stores that operate in physical locations. Such stores have struggled to attract shoppers in recent years.

Here are some numbers:

  • Sales on Cyber Monday, a day devoted to online bargains, hit a record $6.59 billion. That’s an increase of nearly 17% compared to 2016, according to reports.
  • Online retailers bagged nearly $8 billion on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, up nearly 18% compared to 2016, according to Reuters.
  • Foot traffic to bricks and mortar stores decreased less than 1% on Black Friday, compared to 2016, according to industry reports. Consumers still spent a record $5 billion that day, with 54% of online shopping visits coming from mobile devices.

Good news for the slumping brick and mortar retail sector?

The strong turnout is good news for the traditional retail sector, which has experienced a steep decline in sales in recent years.

Chain stores including RadioShack, Payless Shoe Source, and The Limited have filed for bankruptcy in recent years. Once big name retailers such as Sears and J.C. Penney have also closed locations. And In the first four months of 2017, the retail sector lost 72,000 jobs, according to a recent report by Bloomberg Businessweek.

The retail industry  is also one of the largest segments of the economy, generating nearly $5 trillion in sales in 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Retail is also a big employer. About 16 million people work for U.S. retailers, or one in nine people, according to recent reports. More than 8 million people work as retail salespeople and cashiers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Top takeaways:

  • Retailers racked up record sales following the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • Sales on Black Friday reached $5 billion, and $6.6 billion on Cyber Monday
  • Mobile devices drove more than half of all online visits during the peak selling days.

 






Author:
Jeremy Quittner is the financial writer for Stash.



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