Reuters is reporting that consumers spent billions of dollars online on Thanksgiving day, while the era of people lining up around the block at stores on the eve of Black Friday could be a dying trend. Spotters surveyed stores across the country in the overnight, noted that traffic volumes at brick-and-mortar stores were soft.
Lauren Bitar, head of retail consulting at analytics firm RetailNext, told Reuters that department stores extended shopping incentives from Halloween through Black Friday.
The abnormally long periods of incentives leading into Black Friday could have an impact on holiday sales, Bitar said.
"We've seen many merchants start their promotions pretty much right after the trick-or-treaters have gone to bed," she said.
Bitar said stores offering promotions for an entire month leading to Black Friday could erode "the spike that we have seen in sales dollars historically."
The National Retail Federation (NRF) said at least half of the consumers polled earlier this month have already taken advantage of the deals ahead of Black Friday.
Spotters told Reuters that crowds at stores on the eve of Black Friday were low.
Many consumers, who are on the prowl -- scanning for deals on Black Friday, are expected to use credit cards. Though credit card interest rates are at 25-year highs, this could limit holiday spending.
Nearly 165 million Americans are expected to take part in the holiday shopping season through the weekend.
The latest trend of consumers abandoning retail stores for online shopping could further stress retailers this year as the already retail apocalypse has forced record store closings.
Adobe Analytics is reporting that online transactions of top retailers could be around $7.5 billion in sales on Friday, a 20.5% YoY increase.
Adobe showed online spending on Thursday was $4.4 billion, representing a 20.2% YoY rise.
NRF's retail sales forecast for November through December could increase by 3.8% to 4.2% YoY, for a total of around $730 billion.
The most significant retail trend this year could be consumers ditching retail stores for online shopping. There's also a major risk that this holiday shopping season underwhelms:
Department store retail sales continue a downward sloped move.
Department store retail sales verse Amazon's stock price.