Black Friday shoppers flock to stores early for doorbusters, deals

039;Black Friday' becoming a shadow of its former self in US

You may have even bemoaned the fact that Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier every year (and it may be hurting retail sales).

Much is riding on the success of the holiday season's sales.

As online sales surged, some retailers including Costco.com and H&M grappled with brief outages, according to technology company Catchpoint.

Moving into the rest of the holiday weekend and Cyber Monday, Adobe Analytics anticipates that sales momentum will continue to pick up - particularly online and on mobile devices. The attention is now shifting to mall stores Friday.

Target reported Friday that 1 million more customers used its app to shop Black Friday deals compared with previous year.

"What all of this really boils down to is the customer journey has changed, now it can start anywhere online, in-store and end anywhere. and it is about making sure the customer makes the purchase and stays loyal to the brands more than where it happens", he said. However, regardless of your Black Friday shopping, there are many great cybernetic beauty deals to be made this year.

More than half of consumers started their holiday shopping early this year, and almost a quarter of purchases have already been made, according to the annual survey released by the NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Winning the transaction, whether online or in-store, has now become more important for retailers than where it occurs. Adobe Analytics, which measures transactions from 80 of the top 100 USA online retailers, estimates $7.5 billion in online sales for Black Friday, up 20.5% year-over-year.

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For die-hard shoppers, Black Friday brought light to those who gathered before sunrise for bargains.

"It adds pressure", she said.

The top three online selling products on Thanksgiving were Frozen 2 toys, L.O.L Surprise dolls and Amazon's Fire TV.

In Europe, though, Black Friday drew a backlash from activists, politicians and even consumers who criticized the US shopping phenomenon as capitalism run amok. Workers at Amazon in Germany went on strike for better pay. Adobe Analytics, which measures transactions from 80 of the top 100 USA online retailers, estimates US$7.5 billion in sales for Black Friday online, a growth of over 20.5 per cent year-over-year.

Maria Mainville, a spokesman at Taubman Centers, which operates a little over 20 malls in the USA, says that its centers reported strong customer traffic since earlier this week.

Two Bath & Body Works saleswomen wearing reindeer antler headbands shouted about promotions at the trickle of shoppers walking through Newport Center in Jersey, City, New Jersey. Barnes & Noble, who was recently bought by the private United Kingdom book powerhouse Waterstones, has rearranged their floor plans and merchandising of their stores in order to put more of an emphasis on books (if that seems like a weird "change" for a bookstore, you haven't been in a Barnes & Noble in a while).

Due to the late nature of Thanksgiving, this year's holiday season is, according to analysts, about six days shorter than last year, which is why retailers say retailers have to push up promotions even earlier in the season than ever.

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