This Black Friday is set to be the best America has seen in years

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This Black Friday is set to be the best America has seen in years

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(Josh Reynolds/AP Images for BJ's Wholesale Club

Black Friday 2018 is looking like one of the best in years.

  • Black Friday 2018 is likely going to be the best America has seen in years.
  • Total spend for Black Friday weekend is estimated to hit $59.6 billion with the best growth since 2011, according to estimates by GlobalData Retail.
  • More people are shopping, shoppers are spending more, and online sales are way up so far during Black Friday 2018.

Black Friday 2018 is shaping up to be the best America has seen in years.

Total spend for Black Friday weekend is estimated to reach roughly $59.6 billion, according to estimates by GlobalData Retail. That is an increase of 5.7% over 2017 - the best growth rate the US will have seen since the post-recession Black Friday boom in 2011.

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"More people have already shopped than at this point last year, and their average spend is higher," Neil Saunders, the firm's managing director, said in a statement. "The numbers who say that they have yet to shop or that they have more to buy are also up on 2017."

According to Saunders, growth is coming thanks to several factors across the board. More people are shopping, including middle- and lower-class consumers, and people who are shopping are spending roughly 5.3% more on average.

Much of the sales boost is happening online, with more people shopping on their phones and starting to search for deals earlier than in years past.

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Shoppers spent $2.4 billion online on Wednesday, a whopping 31.8% increase from 2017, according to Adobe Analytics data. By 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, they had spent another $1.75 billion, representing 28.6% growth compared to last year.

"Black Friday is bigger than a 24-hour shopping sprint or even a week-long marathon," Accenture Strategy's Frank Layo and Kurt Salmon said in a comment on Friday morning. "It's turned into a month-long extravaganza which started with promotions just after Halloween, and will continue well after Cyber Monday."

The importance of Black Friday itself is weakening, as the shopping weekend starts earlier and earlier. But, the kickoff of the holiday shopping season is looking like a clear win for retailers.

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"Although the economy is strong and consumers are confident, the numbers are impressive as last year was relatively strong in terms of spending and growth," Saunders wrote. "It also bodes well for Christmas as it suggests that consumers have yet to run out of steam."

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