Head start on holiday deals tempers Black Friday frenzy

People wait in line for a Best Buy store to open for an early Black Friday sale on Thanksgiving Day 2018 in Overland Park Kan

Target reported Friday that 1 million more customers used its app to shop Black Friday deals compared with past year.

A day after Thanksgiving is referred as Black Friday and many wonder why. And although they likely won't be seen roaming around on Black Friday, the store is also equipped with self-driving floor-scrubbing machines.

Retailers are rewarding Black Friday shoppers with reason to return. It was slow at first, according to mall marketing manager Bree Sanchez, but traffic picked up as more families finished their Thanksgiving dinner and headed out.

While Black Friday still matters, its relevance is fading as the holiday shopping season now begins the week before Halloween and stretches to Christmas Eve with retailers offering deep discounts throughout the season. In 2018, $14.2 billion worth of items were sold across the U.S. on Black Friday and the Cyber Monday.

So if the deals don't get people in the door, the tradition does.

The condensed season accelerates early promotions and spending.

Jason Woosley, a vice president with Adobe, said preliminary data showed Black Friday was also on track to top its performance from past year by nearly 19 per cent, with promotions for sporting goods and appliances especially popular. But with six fewer days than previous year, it will be the shortest season since 2013 because Thanksgiving fell on the fourth Thursday in November - the latest possible date it could be.

"He wanted to experience all of the excitement so I took him out, and he's excited actually", she said.

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Jono Bacon - a retail consultant who works with clients like Microsoft, Sony, and Dyson - told Business Insider that the growth of online shopping on Black Friday is a response to several factors, including major e-commerce companies like Amazon starting to promote holiday deals earlier and earlier in the season, as well as general fatigue over the brick-and-mortar doorbuster. Still, it expects online sales will reach $143.7 billion, up 14.1% from last year's holiday season.

Attention in the USA shifted Friday to malls, where traffic has been on decline with the increasing popularity of online shopping and a rash of store closings.

According to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, only 36 percent of American consumers plan to shop on Black Friday this year, one percent less than last year and a 23 percent drop compared to 2015.

At some malls, some shoppers were surprised at the relatively thin crowds.

Few shoppers were at Newport Centre in Jersey City, New Jersey, when Latoya Robinson walked in at 9:30 a.m.

In Kansas, Kassi Adams and her husband drove 50 miles (80 kilometers) to Town East Mall in Wichita, even though the couple were almost done with their holiday shopping.

"There is really not much of a crowd to fight", she said.

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