Nov 30, 2019

Black Friday shoppers beat online sales record

Black Friday shoppers in Belarus on Nov. 29. Photo: Natalia Fedosenko\TASS via Getty Images

Americans spent a record $7.4 billion in online purchases this Black Friday, AP reports.

The big picture: Strong consumer spending has largely acted as the U.S. economy's backbone for the past two quarters and most of 2018. October's Q4 retail sales figures indicated solid, albeit slightly cautious, consumers.

What's next: Adobe Analytics expects Cyber Monday's online sales to hit $9.4 billion and break another all-time record, per AP.

  • Meanwhile, brick-and-mortar retailers saw a 2.1% drop in traffic on Friday compared to last year, according to RetailNext.

Go deeper: Consumers are picking up the lagging business sector's slack

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U.S. holiday retail sales slump

Black Friday shoppers walk New York City's 5th Avenue. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Shoppers spent less at restaurants and bars in November and didn't buy as many clothes and sporting goods as they had the month prior, according to the latest advance estimates from the Commerce Department.

The big picture: Strong consumer spending largely acted as the U.S. economy's backbone for the past two quarters and much of 2018. The Federal Reserve ended its interest rate-cutting streak on Wednesday, signaling confidence that the economy doesn't need easier borrowing conditions to stay afloat.

Go deeperArrowDec 14, 2019

Holiday shoppers are unfazed by recession fears

Reproduced from an Experian chart; Chart: Axios Visuals

More Americans say they are worried about a recession next year and are getting more cautious about their spending habits and debt, but that didn't slow down their holiday shopping.

Driving the news: Data from Adobe Analytics shows Black Friday spending increased by nearly 20% over last year, rising to $7.4 billion, even as fewer retailers offered big in-store discounts. Brick-and-mortar stores saw an overall 6% decline in sales, according to preliminary data from ShopperTrak.

Go deeperArrowDec 2, 2019

Online retailers dominate holiday shopping

An Amazon fulfillment center, fully stocked for Black Friday. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

More and more people are dodging the long lines and busy parking lots of Black Friday — and planning to do their holiday shopping online instead.

The big picture: Despite headlines and reports describing a retail apocalypse, brick-and-mortar stores still easily trump e-commerce sites, with online shopping claiming only about 10% of all retail. But when it comes to shopping around the holidays, online has a much larger share.

Go deeperArrowNov 27, 2019