Black Friday fails to lift gloom on high streets as footfall dives

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In the wake of Thanksgiving weekend, what marks the start of the holiday shopping season, retail stocks are rallying on upbeat sentiment around preliminary sales results.

American shoppers spent a record $5 billion in 24 hours. Amazon did not provide sales figures for Black Friday.

Early estimates from ShopperTrak, a data analytics company that measures the number of shoppers at stores, said foot traffic "decreased less than one percent when compared to Black Friday 2016".

Brick-and-mortar retail sales data were not immediately available, but industry analysts noted signs of a decline in physical store sales this year, Reuters reported.

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According to Adobe Analytics, which measures 100 of the largest retailers in the USA, retailers raked in US$7.9 billion on Black Friday and Thanksgiving, with Cyber Monday expected to bring in another US$6.6 billion. The research firm had previously reported Cyber Monday sales of $3.45 billion previous year but restated that figure to $5.6 billion following a change in its methodology of calculating sales.

A study from Rakuten Marketing found that there was a 21 percent year-over-year revenue growth in online retail sales this year in the three-day period from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to Black Friday. "The big story this holiday season is in mobile shopping", CNBC reported, quoting Mickey Mericle, Vice president of Adobe's Marketing and Customer Insights division.

"Brands and retailers will offer an array of great deals on electronic devices".

Adobe predicts that Cyber Monday will be even bigger than Black Friday, bringing in as much as $6 billion in digital sales.

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