Online shopping surpasses $3B as Black Friday sales drop

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Black Friday is starting to lose its power as more and more shoppers are taking to online shopping for their holiday needs and also taking advantage of earlier discounts, according to this year’s data.

This year, sales in physical stores were down 10 percent from last year, while on the other hand, online purchases surged, passing $3 billion in purchasing power for the first time on Black Friday as shoppers got an early drop on Cyber Monday sales. The data also suggested that the widespread use of cell phones with internet connections contributed to the trend, with mobile purchases up 33 percent.

–Black Friday turns violent, four people shot–

“We knew it (holiday season) was going to be off to a slow start,” said Shelley Kohan, vice president of retail consulting at RetailNext. “The first couple of weeks with the election were a complete distracter from the normal course of business. A warmer climate in November may have made the sales more stubborn.”

Kohan went on to say that she expected sales to pick up now that December is here.

Overall, consumers are projected to spend $655.8 billion this holiday season over both November and December, which is a 3.6 percent increase over last year, in part due to low unemployment numbers and increased wages.