It appears that predictions consumers would pass on Black Friday were somewhat exaggerated. Consumers are not only crowding stores looking for bargains, they took advantage of the stores that opened on Thanksgiving. Millions more shopped online.
Macy's said there were more than 16,000 shoppers lined up outside its New York flagship store in Harold Square as the doors opened Thanksgiving night. It reports that early sales receipts suggest a lot of people will be finding sweaters and other clothing under the tree this year.
Target also reports a strong start to the big shopping weekend. Not only were stores jammed with shoppers last night, the company says Target.com had it's biggest single sales day ever.
“Shopping at Target has become an annual Thanksgiving tradition for millions of our guests, and we’re thrilled at the response we’ve seen this year,” said Target CEO Brian Cornell. “Based on early results, it’s clear that our deals are cutting through. We expect this momentum to continue throughout the weekend and into next week.”
Target says TV sets were among the most popular items, with consumers buying more than 3,200 sets every minute during the first hour that stores were open. Early indications also point to strong sales of Apple products, including the Apple Watch Series 1.
Hoverboards sold out in minutes
Among toys, Target says LEGO, NERF, and Our Generation were popular items. The Jetson V6 Hoverboard sold out within minutes, the company said.
Amazon, meanwhile, has already jumped ahead to Cyber Monday. The company has unveiled 75,000 deals it plans to offer next week.
The deals include the Amazon Echo for $139.99, a 50 inch 4K Ultra HD Smart TV for $249.99, and 30% off on select clothing, shoes, jewelry, and watches for women, men, kids, and infants.
Last Cyber Monday, Amazon says customers ordered more than 54 million items worldwide, which set a record. It says based on early sales data, it expects that record to be shattered next week.
Did the large number of retailers who took a stand against opening on Thanksgiving miss the boat? Maybe not. CNBC reports the Mall of America, which this year remained closed on the holidays, had even bigger crowds lining up for its Black Friday opening than it did last year.