Store traffic on Black Friday plunged 52.1 percent below 2019’s number, while online sales rose 21.6 percent above last year’s dollar volume, according to data firm Sensormatic Solutions.
During the six weeks of the holiday shopping season, visits to stores will be 22 to 25 percent fewer than in 2019, the company predicts. 
“We knew Black Friday [traffic] was going to be down. We just didn’t know how much it was going to be down,” Brian Field, retail consultant with Sensormatic Solutions, told CNBC. “Shoppers are spreading out their shopping throughout the holiday season because of concerns about social distancing and the pandemic.”
“Black Friday this year, from a traffic impact perspective, looked a lot like a typical Saturday after a Black Friday,” he said.
Many stores were taking customers’ temperatures as they entered and taking contact information in case infections needed to be traced. Shops in Chicago, Los Angeles, and some other large cities were limited to 25 percent of capacity.
A large number of consumers seemed to heed the CDC’s advice to shop online instead of in stores on Black Friday.
About 9 percent of web shoppers were first-time buyers, many of whom were older and live in rural areas, according to Adobe Digital Insights
The 21.6-percent growth spurt in web-based buying meant a $9-billion day for e-retailers, following a $5.1-billion Thanksgiving e-commerce day, with more than 40 percent of the holiday orders placed over smartphones, Adobe Analytics reported.
Amazon, Target, and Walmart reaped some of the greatest sales compared to sellers forced onto the Internet by the economic shutdown and who had less experience and fewer offerings than veteran online suppliers.
In the week preceding Black Friday, Amazon’s sales rose 65 percent from the same week in 2019. Sales at Target and Walmart for the week jumped 80 and 67 percent, respectively, according to consulting firm Edison Trends.
This year’s Black Friday was the second-largest online spending day on record in the U.S., trailing only 2019’s Cyber Monday, Adobe noted.
Cyber Monday this year, which fell on November 30, was forecast to be the richest online sales day yet, grossing $10.8 billion to $12.7 billion, Adobe said, representing growth of 15 to 35 percent year on year.

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