Black Friday draws fewer early shoppers as U.S. consumers buy online
HOUSTON, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) — Black Friday, a traditionally busy shopping day in the United States, began with shorter lines for door busters here as more shoppers opted for online deals.
Only a small group of people stood outside a Houston’s Target store, a major U.S. discount store retailer, before it opened in early morning.
U.S. consumers seem to prefer shopping from smartphones and tablets. On Thursday alone, U.S. consumers spent 2.87 billion U.S. dollars online, about 18 percent more than last year, according to data from Adobe Digital Insights, which publishes research on digital marketing.
Holiday shoppers have already spent a record 33.2 billion U.S. dollars online this month, nearly 18 percent more than they had at this time last year.
Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day had been busier with in-store shopping. About 300 people had lined up when the Target store opened for a six-hour shopping rush, store manager Cameron Dennington told local media. But this year, most of the store’s Black Friday activity took place behind the scenes.
Six Target employees scrambled on Thursday to fulfill hundreds of online orders for in-store pickup, an option that has proven especially popular this year.
E-commerce growth is expected to coincide with an overall increase in holiday spending. The National Retail Federation expects sales in November and December to rise between 3.6 percent and 4 percent, up from 655.8 billion U.S. dollars last year.