So much for the demise of Black Friday.
The year’s biggest shopping weekend in the U.S. got off to a strong start, top retailers said on Friday morning, as strategies to start online deals earlier, while giving consumers an incentive to come to stores, paid off.
The long lines and occasional fisticuffs of Black Friday seem to be a thing of the pre-e-commerce past. The newer era of stretched-out store hours and growing online sales have meant stronger overall business on the shopping weekend that got underway on Thanksgiving on Thursday.
“It was a strong start, it was strong online all day on Thursday and then strong in stores when we opened them,” Macy’s (m, -1.72%) CEO Jeff Gennette told Fortune on Friday morning. Meanwhile Kohl’s (kss, -3.71%) said it had a record day of online sales on Thursday. Walmart said traffic was “steady all [Thursday] night long.”
The good news for retailers went beyond those three chains as the early read among industry analysts was that shoppers in the aggregate were spending with gusto.
“More people have already shopped than at this point last year, and their average spend is higher,” Neil Saunders, a managing director at GlobalData Retail, wrote in a research note….