Brick-and-mortar retailers were aided over the five days by good weather across much of the country and strength in the economy, including low unemployment and a rising stock market.
"We don't necessarily draw a straight line from this weekend to the rest of the holiday season for a variety of reasons", Shay said during a conference call with reporters.
This stronger-than-expected performance was achieved in spite of a number of factors that could have exerted a negative influence on growth, such as Black Friday occurring before pay day this year, and many retailers launched discounting campaigns in advance of the day itself. The last drop was in 2008, at the onset of the Great Recession, when retail sales tumbled 4.6 percent. "We have nearly five weeks to go [until Christmas], lots of things can change, but we are certainly encouraged to start off from a position of strength". The group finds those who shopped online and in stores spent or were planning to spend $82 more on average than online-only shoppers, and $49 more on average than store-only shoppers.
Top shopping destinations included department stores (43%), online retailers (42%), electronic stores (32%), clothing and accessories stores (31%), and discount stores (also 31%).
A wide variety of retailers both online and on the high street have been extending their deals from before Black Friday and to beyond Cyber Monday as the sales period shifts to take advantage of the pre-Christmas rush. Meantime, more than 58 million people only shopped online, and over 51 million individuals just stuck to stores, NRF said.
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Average spend per person over the five-day period was $335.47, with $250.78, or about 75%, going toward gifts, according to NRF. The biggest spenders were older Millennials (25-34 years old) at $419.52.
The industry group offered no comparable historical data to its survey released Tuesday because this year's shopping survey results include the entire Thanksgiving weekend results plus Cyber Monday.
Adobe leverages Adobe Sensei, Adobe's artificial intelligence and machine learning framework, to identify retail insights from trillions of data points that flow through Adobe Analytics, part of Adobe Experience Cloud. The top two days that consumers shopped online were Cyber Monday with more than 81 million and Black Friday with more than 66 million. Online shopping surpassed $1 billion every day so far in November, with five $2 billion days.
Specifically, Adobe notes that iPads and AirPods were among a list of top-selling devices this past Monday, alongside items like the Google Chromecast and video game consoles like the Nintendo Switch.