Online boom may see Cyber Monday top Black Friday

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More people shopped from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday than had been forecast - 174 million vs. 164 million - and they spent an average of $335.47 each, but the dominant place in shoppers' minds was online, according to a survey from the industry's largest trade group. The National Retail Federation, which had foretold strong holiday sales helped by improving consumer faith, said on Friday that fair weather across much of the nation had also helped attract customers into stores. Multichannel shoppers spent about $49 more than those shopping only in-store, and $82 more than those shopping online. Based on Adobe Analytics data, a record $6.59 billion was spent online by the end of Cyber Monday, an increase of 16.8% year over year, making it the largest online shopping day in history and almost a billion dollars more than last year at $5.6 billion.

According to Adobe Analytics, shoppers are expected to spend 6.6 billion on Cyber Monday, which is a 16 percent increase from a year ago. In the run-up to the holiday weekend, established retailers invested gradually in upgrading their websites and bulking up delivery alternatives, preempting a decline in visits to brick-and-mortar stores.

Meanwhile, a record $5.03 billion was spent online during Black Friday, an increase of 17 percent when compared with previous year, according to Adobe.

But this year, whether a sale is made online or in a store, is becoming less important, Federation President and Chief Executive Matthew Shay said in a conference call Tuesday to announce the results.

The retail federation said about 58 million consumers shopped online only, while 51 million shopped only in stores.

- Shoppers ages 25 to 34 spent the most, an average of $419.52.

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According to the latest data from retail intelligence experts Springboard, footfall figures across United Kingdom high Streets, shopping centres and out of town retail parks were down 1.1% during the whole Black Friday weekend.

The research firm said the $6.59 billion spent on a day dedicated to e-commerce was a 16.8 percent increase from a year ago and resulted in the largest US online shopping day in history.

Retail stocks were up broadly today as department store chains and big-box stores continued to rally on bullish reports on the holiday weekend and key selling days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The last drop was in 2008, at the onset of the Great Recession, when retail sales tumbled 4.6 percent.

Black Friday weekend no longer brings a stampede of crazed shoppers to America's malls. NRF also reports that retail-tainment was also a big trend this year, with many local businesses and downtown areas around the country taking advantage of the trend by hosting Small Business Saturday events to encourage consumers to get out with their families.

Online merchants racked up a record $6.59 billion on Cyber Monday alone, the company found.

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