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Black Friday 2021: Shoppers are returning to stores, with in-store sales increasing 42.9% from a year ago

NEW YORK – Black Friday doesn’t mean the importance it once had to many US shoppers – blame the rise of ‘Cyber ​​Monday’ online shopping vacations, then the impact of Covid-19 on retail.

But shoppers are still spending more money on clothes, electronics and other items this Black Friday as they come back to visit stores in person and continue spending online.

Black Friday sales are up 29.8% from a year ago, according to estimates until 3 p.m. ET from Mastercard, which tracks payment data in stores and online, excluding car sales. E-commerce sales increased 10.6% from a year ago, while in-store sales increased 42.9%.

“Retail spending has increased throughout the day and this is a testament to the strength of the consumer,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor to Mastercard. “We anticipate a positive holiday season well beyond Black Friday.”

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Clothing sales led the growth, increasing 86.4% on Black Friday from a year ago, when shoppers were primarily at home and had little reason to spruce up their wardrobes. .

These trends mark a reversal from 2020, when retailers limited their door-to-door offerings to avoid overcrowding in stores and pushed shoppers to shop online instead. Black Friday online sales jumped 85% in 2020 from the previous year, but overall sales fell 16.1%.

This year, retailers are betting on a strong holiday.

Retail sales in November and December are expected to grow 8.5% to 10.5% this year from the 2020 holiday season, to a record $ 859 billion, the National Retail Federation, a group, predicted. commercial for retailers. The figure excludes car dealerships, gas stations and restaurants.

Federal stimulus payments to households and families since the start of the pandemic have raised savings rates and rising wages are expected to propel consumer demand over the holidays, the NRF predicted.

Retailers launched their vacation offerings in October to try to spread the vacation season. They did this in part to avoid a demand crash on Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, which can strain stores and logistics networks.

The chains also encouraged buyers to buy early and avoid waiting in case the product they wanted sold. Retailers have faced strong consumer demand, as well as delays and shortages in getting goods to shelves due to persistent supply chain barriers.

Deborah Weinswig, CEO of retail research and consulting firm Coresight Research, visited stores in Boston and Providence on Friday. Out-of-stock items were most visible in furniture and basic clothing such as denim jeans, khakis, underwear and socks, she said in a report.

Still, Weinswig said there was heavy traffic in home goods and department stores and predicted strong profits for retailers this holiday as they offered fewer discounts.

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