A strong Black Friday 2018 signals the continued popularity of online shopping. It also points to a brick-and-mortar retail industry that remains strong in some ways, but is still lagging behind in others.
Both online and in-store retail sales totaled $23 billion this year, which is up 9% from 2017. And according to Mastercard, total holiday season shopping is expected to grow by 6% versus last year.
“We’ve gotten off to a very good start,” said Steve Sadove, Mastercard senior advisor. “Both online and in-store sales are both tracking very well.”
However, despite a strong opening to the holiday shopping season, brick-and-mortar store traffic is still declining.
RetailNext, which measures store traffic, said brick-and-mortar holiday sales traffic is down between 5% and 9%. Mall traffic tracker ShopperTrak concurred. The company showed a decline in store visits of 1% during Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
Worse, this is the fourth straight year that in-store traffic has declined.
However, there is a bright spot. Despite a declining number of in-store shoppers, those who did visit brick-and-mortar stores over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend spent more per transaction.
Meanwhile, Amazon is claiming a record-breaking Thanksgiving-holiday weekend.
The online retailer did not release hard numbers. But according to a spokesperson, Amazon sold “millions” more products from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday than it did during the same period in 2017.
“Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to break records on Amazon year-over-year,” said Jeff Wilke, the CEO of Amazon worldwide consumer.
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