Feature: Holiday shopping bonanza starts before Thanksgiving day dinner

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-24 14:23:00|Editor: Zhou Xin
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NEW YORK, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Those who wait till the morning of Black Friday to shop for a steal may find items in their shopping cart already sold out as a price war between retail stores and online platforms started even before the Thanksgiving Day dinner.

At 5 p.m. Eastern Time (2200 ) Thursday, the retail store chain Macy's Herald Square flagship store in New York city already saw hundreds lining up in front of the doors after watching Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in the morning.

The doorbuster products include women's cashmere at 39.99 U.S. dollars, women's boots starting at 19.99 dollars, bedding at 65 percent off, and many more.

"The presale promotion yesterday was already good and I'm here today to buy gloves and coats," said Stella Chang, who bought cosmetic value sets at 20 percent off.

The store will be open overnight and close at 11 p.m. on Friday (0400 GMT, Saturday).

Other retail stores, including Best Buy, JCPenney and Target all opened on Thursday afternoon to attract more consumers.

Retail stores are opening earlier each year largely because they are losing consumers to online shopping websites.

Most of the online platforms started Black Friday sale on Wednesday midnight or early Thursday morning. Some websites even experienced temporary breakdown with too much traffic.

According to statistics, Black Friday online promotion to date saw an average savings of 11.2 percent for computers, 15.1 percent for televisions and 11.4 percent for toys.

The sharpest discounts are expected to occur on Black Friday, with televisions and tablet discount averaging 24 percent, appliances discount reaching an average of 18 percent, and jewelry at 12 percent.

This year, online platforms are working hard on the speed of delivery. Neiman Marcus online, for example, not only offers free shipping and return, but also offers customers the free two-day shoprunner choice.

Others even offer same-day delivery under certain circumstances. Buying online and picking up in store has become an option that most of the retail chain's online platforms offer.

"I always shop at retail stores because I can take what I buy home on the same day. But now online shopping websites are now faster in delivery," said Chang.

She added that the days in which people had to wait two weeks to receive an item they bought online were already gone.

Analysts have observed shifting consumer behavior in recent years as customers are more likely to make purchases online for better discounts and using mobile phones for convenience.

"Unsurprisingly, mobile shopping is becoming the norm for shopping this holiday season. With many consumers on the road, or with family, we're seeing record traffic numbers to retail sites from the smartphone, as well as revenue," said Mickey Mericle, vice president of Marketing and Customer Insights at Adobe.

Adobe Analytics data showed 1.52 billion U.S. dollars in online spending as of 5:00 p.m. (2200 GMT) on Thursday, marking a 16.8-percent growth year-on-year.

The average order value is slightly higher for this year's Thanksgiving Day at 132 dollars, up 3.2 percent compared with the figure last year, according to Adobe, which measures 80 percent of online transactions at 100 largest U.S. web retailers.

The shopping spree started quite early this year.

"We're seeing significantly higher growth in online spend this year, even before the deepest discounts hit on Black Friday; every day in November has been a billion dollar day, and we're predicting that we have more than twice the number of two billion dollar shopping days this holiday season -- that's an incredible milestone," said Mericle.

Data showed that 30.39 billion dollars were spent online between Nov. 1 and Nov. 22, reflecting a 17.9 percent year-on-year growth.

Analysts expected this holiday season to be a record-breaking one.

As Adobe forecasts, online sales will reach 107.4 billion dollars this holiday season, an increase of 13.8 percent. Black Friday will have 5 billion dollars in online spend, an 16.4-percent growth year-on-year.