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Thanksgiving Day online sales hit record $5.1 billion, up 21.5% from last year, Adobe says

A shop window with discount signs posted is seen in New York on Thanksgiving ahead of Black Friday on November 26, 2020.

Kena Betancur | AFP | Getty Images

Some shoppers may be avoiding stores during the coronavirus pandemic, but they’re still putting many items in the virtual shopping carts.

Thanksgiving Day spending rose by nearly 22% year over year to $5.1 billion, hitting a new record, according to Adobe Analytics data. The company analyzes traffic on retail websites and transactions from 80 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers.

Online sales hit $4.2 billion on Thanksgiving Day in 2019.

Like just about every aspect of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has shaken up the dynamics for holiday shopping. Retailers, including Walmart and Target, kicked off sales in mid-October to coincide with Amazon Prime Day. They’ve stretched out one-day sales events, giving shoppers less of a reason to rush to the store this Black Friday.

One of the country’s top retail trade groups said the global health crisis won’t dampen enthusiasm for shopping. The National Retail Federation estimated holiday sales will rise between 3.6% and 5.2% year over year, amounting to between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion. Last year, they rose 4% to $729.1 billion, NRF said. On average, holiday sales have increased 3.5% for the past five years.

The trade group, however, said it expects more of those dollars will be spent online, rather than in stores. It projected a 20% to 30% jump in online and other non-store sales compared to last year.

Follow CNBC’s updates on Black Friday here.


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