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In-Store Holiday Sales Decline as Online Grows

Dec 1, 2016 2:33 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Sales and foot traffic at physical stores in the U.S. fell over the Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend as more retail business moved online, according to the latest figures.

U.S. store sales declined 4.2 percent and traffic fell 4.4 percent over the same weekend a year ago, analytics company RetailNext reported.

“The weekend results underline the importance of brands effectively converging digital and physical channels to deliver a single, seamless shopping experience to consumers, particularly during the high-volume holiday season,” said Shelley Kohan, vice president of retail consulting at RetailNext.

“Bricks-and-mortar sales and traffic numbers tell only part of the retail story, as many brands saw tremendous lift in their online channels that will positively impact overall performance.”

Including digital, sales in the November to December holiday period will rise 3.2 percent, RetailNext predicted.

Ecommerce data for the season-to-date supports this perceived shift to online. U.S. spending from desktop computers between November 1 and November 25 grew 12 percent to $24.52 billion, according to figures from ComScore. Thanksgiving Day sales jumped 17 percent to $1.29 billion and Black Friday receipts rocketed 19 percent to $1.97 billion, ComScore reported.

Data company ShopperTrak, however, assessed Black Friday as being more neutral for traditional retailers, saying foot traffic at bricks-and-mortar outlets was flat. Fewer store openings on Thanksgiving Day meant Black Friday sales were not split over the two days as they were in previous years, the company explained. Shopper visits to physical stores declined 1 percent across Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, it added.

Image: Ray Bouknight
Tags: black friday, comScore, holiday sales, holiday season, holiday shopping, Rapaport News, retail, retailnext, shoppertrak, Thanksgiving
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