Shoppers hit the stores for Black Friday

Shoppers hit the stores for Black Friday

Shoppers may be opting to shop on Thanksgiving day instead of Black Friday, indicating a key shift in the holiday shopping habits of the American public.

The long shopping weekend kicks off Thanksgiving Day, when many stores once again are opening their doors for holiday shoppers.

Below-freezing temps didn't slow down shoppers hunting for Black Friday bargains in the Big Apple, but long lines in the city - and "insane" consumer chaos at some stores across the country - convinced some that the experience would be their last.

Most of those shoppers on the lookout for blockbuster deals on things like electronics and toys, but according to the National Retail Federation, 26 percent of shoppers take part because it is tradition.

Target said early Friday morning that more shoppers shopped using the Target app, ordering more than double compared to a year ago.

According to a report from Adobe, final Thanksgiving day sales totaled $3.7bn in online spend, a 28% growth year-over-year. The average spend of those who already shopped on Black Friday was US$407.20, up 2.1 per cent over past year, he said.

And with Black Friday chaos comes plenty of videos - several users posted videos of scuffles over merchandise, shoppers tripping over each other while rushing through the front doors, and other violent confrontations between angry customers.

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According to research from discount comparison site LovetheSales.com, there are 32 percent more online deals on offer this year over last year, setting a new record overall.

At Aurora Farms Premium Outlets in Aurora, Ohio, roughly 30 miles southeast of Cleveland, lines formed outside both the Nike outlet and the Kate Spade store. But with U.S. stores now opening on Thanksgiving evening, the typical rush seen on the morning of Black Friday has split up. Thanksgiving Day online sales hit $3.7 billion, 28% growth year over year.

Walmart rolled out a mobile app that shows shoppers where products are located in its stores, so the items can be found without asking an employee for help. That was all while trying to get down one aisle.

"The story for this year is that healthier in-store traffic combined with outstanding digital growth will lead to strong results at many US retailers", said Oliver Chen, an analyst for Cowen & Co., who said he was most impressed by foot traffic at Walmart and Kohl's.

Many retailers, reacting to the bankruptcy of the Toys 'R'Us chain, are catering to parents.

Target said in October, it planned to dedicate almost a quarter of a million square feet of new space to its toy business across 500 of its stores. It's nice having the same big deals available online so that people aren't forced to go to the store for their shopping if they don't want to.

"We boycotted Thursday shopping; that's the day for family". An Athleta clothing store in Tysons, Virginia, provided hot chocolate with marshmallows to women in line for the dressing room.

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