By Matt Townsend, Leslie Patton, Kim Bhasin and Matthew Boyle | Washington Post
Black Friday is increasingly an online shopping event and it's not necessarily a good thing for older dealers. Some of them found themselves behind America's annual expenses.
Chains have decades of expertise in filling stores with mountains of televisions and beach towels as you come up with door trips to lure the masses. But e-commerce is not yet the industry's forte – despite heavy investments and plenty of lip service about how far they have come. It was clear again this holiday weekend as dealers, including Lowes Cos, Walmart Inc., Lululemon Athletica Inc. and Kohl's Corp., handled glitches and malfunctioning websites ̵[ads1]1; and the customer Ire.
"It really shows the importance of investing in logistics and technology," said Marshal Cohen, an analyst at researcher NPD Group. "They must be able to handle online rush."
Major US dealers have cruised most of the this year by laying out solid – if not standout – results that lifted expectations on their way into what would be one of the best holiday shopping seasons in the last 15 years. But investors became jittery in recent weeks, and retail shares paired winnings for the year among long-standing concerns about how they will develop.
They must figure it out. The black Friday figures indicate a lot of growth that occurred online. According to Adobe Analytics, which tracks e-commerce, it was spent 6.2 billion dollar 24 per cent higher than a year ago.
There were also many anecdotal evidence that traffic in shopping malls and shops was similar to last year's levels, if not down anywhere. More than 62 Percent of shopping centers managed by JLL on the east coast reported the same volume of foot traffic this year as in 2017, but observers said traffic picked up as cold day warmed up.
"The story for this year is that healthier traffic in the store combined with outstanding digital growth will lead to strong results from many US retailers," said Oliver Chen, an analyst for Cowen & Co., who said he was most impressed with foot traffic at Walmart and Kohl.  Of course, a great warning for this weekend is that dealers have spread out by offering deals earlier in November, and Thanksgiving Day is now a big shopping day in itself. An estimate from Citigroup said that Black Friday The weekend would only amount to 10 percent of retail in the fourth quarter.
"The Frenes of Black Friday, as we knew it's over," said ODs Cohen, who visited stores in four states to start the holiday weekend. "We look at it next edition of Black Friday, a more civilized and opportunistic edition. "
Many shopping malls reported a late arrival crowd on Friday. And buyers who arrived early were pleasantly surprised by the relative calmness Take Cornelia Baird: The Home Health Assistance Finished Her Shopping In Less Than An Hour At Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal. The 38-year-old is just that kind of shopper retailer hoping for this holiday. She usually does not go out on Black Friday, but can not resist bidding on Bath & Body Works for $ 4.95. She met Target and bought a five-piece baggage kit for $ 48.
There were also more signs that a large portion of the 164 million Americans who expected to trade this weekend bought for themselves. At a Chicago goal, 35-year-old Tara James said she came out to get two Phone XS models – one for herself and one for husband – plus the $ 250 free gift card they brought. Other than that, not much else interested her.
"There was nothing for Black Friday that really appealed to me," said James, who also had chain clementines, deodorants and tights in her shopping cart.
Of course, not all places looked like another day in the mall. Thousands of keen shoppers lined up at the entrance of Macy's Herald Square flagship store in Manhattan, the largest warehouse in the US at 17.00. on Thanksgiving. The two lower floors, selling accessories, cosmetics and shoes, were clogged with customers who struggled to hug the few escalators. Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette was present to cheer the crowd while they came in.
At Aurora Farms Premium Outlets in Aurora, Ohio, about 30 miles southeast of Cleveland, lines were formed outside both the Nike outlet and the Kate Spade store.
In a Walmart store in Northern New Jersey, customers managed free coffee and mapped their purchases before the Black Friday agreements began at 6pm on Thanksgiving Day. The stores saw "a fairly consistent flow of customers" through the evening, according to market manager Ashley Viveiros. Electronics and home goods were the two most popular departments early, she said, with customers who migrated to the game department after that. "It's an event for many people," she said.
Kettle-style pots had a big year, and despite the decline in cable subscriptions, television remains one of the few elements that draw crowds on Black Friday. The customers at the front of the line outside of a Best Buy in Brooklyn city center had all braved free temperatures for one reason: a 55-inch Sharp 4K TV on sale for $ 249.99.
Chris Garcia, a 38-year-old father of four from Brooklyn, came to the store just after 4 o'clock on the opening four hours later, hoping to get the deal for the two youngest children who had recently broken a set. To save $ 200 was enough motivation for the city's park worker to wait for a black Friday line for the first time. He was so cold at one point that he bought an extra pair of socks at the nearby old navy in an attempt to stay warm.
"Usually you pay $ 500 or $ 600 for a TV like this – can not pass it up," said Garcia. This was not a Christmas present, but it could be. Garcia told his family that he had to work early on Friday, a mess so he could surprise them. "I'll just go to the TV and see what's happening," said Garcia. "They'll be happy."