Retailers extended the Black Friday weekend longer than ever, with earlier openings on Thanksgiving, but sales rose only 1 per cent, according to figures released yesterday by various retail organisations.
Online spending, however turned out to be different with double-digit increases reported every day of the five-day period, Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.
According to the Adobe Digital Index, Americans spent a record $2.29 billion on Cyber Monday, which was 16-per cent higher over last year.
Even with rapid growth, online spending was expected to be less than 10 per cent of total holiday sales and according to Digital analytics firm Comscore online purchases would cross $55 billion this year, while the National Retail Federation had projected total holiday sales at over $600 billion.
Many retailers this year worried about the shorter holiday season due to the late Thanksgiving, which meant their deals started earlier in November, drawing spending away from the big Black Friday promotions.
According to retail analytics firm ShopperTrak, retailers removed "the focus from just one big day of shopping," while shoppers, in turn, "paced themselves" and spread their spending into the weeks before Black Friday.
According to ShopperTrak estimates, between Thanksgiving and Sunday, consumers spent $22.2 billion between, as against $22 billion in 2012. The number of shoppers entering stores during the period fell 4 per cent, to an estimated 1.8 billion store visits, ShopperTrak said.