Black Friday sales are surging - and it reveals an ominous reality about the retail industry
Getty/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
- Shoppers have already spent more than $1.52 billion over the Thanksgiving holiday.
- Sales are soaring in part because discounts have never been steeper.
- Nearly half of the US apparel market was discounted on Thanksgiving, with an average promotion of 47% off the full price
Black Friday sales are soaring with shoppers already spending more than $1.52 billion online on Thanksgiving evening - a 17% increase over last year, according to Adobe Analytics.
"Thanksgiving is shaping up to be a record-breaking shopping day," said Mickey Mericle, vice president, Marketing and Customer Insights for Adobe.
The strong sales are a positive sign for the struggling retail industry. But a closer look reveals a far more ominous reality: retailers had to drop prices lower than ever to get shoppers to spend money.
Discounts are hitting record highs this year, according to Edited, a retail technology company.
Nearly half of the US apparel market was discounted on Thanksgiving, with an average promotion of 47% off the full price.
Accessories are the most discounted category, accounting for more than 35% of reductions, followed by tops (21.7%) and footwear (13.3%).
Luxury handbags are also steeply discounted, with an average discount of 40%-50% off, up from 30%-40% last year. Items like puffer coats and quilted jackets have an "astronomic" discount of 60%-70% off the full price, Edited said.
Discounts on technology are slightly lower, but still strong.
Average promotions include 24% off televisions and tablets and 18% off appliances, according to Adobe Analytics.
Cyber Monday will have the highest discounts off of toys, at about 19% off regular prices, Adobe said.
Overall, shoppers are expected to spend $107.4 billion online this holiday season, representing an increase of nearly 14% over last year, according to Adobe. Cyber Monday will be the largest online shopping day in history, with $6.6 billion in sales.