Online Retailers Give Thanks

Holiday spending is expected in increase by almost 5% this year, which is a rather robust rate, and this is certainly great news for retailers. But almost all of that growth is expected to be online, and so brick-and-mortar brands have been busily building their online platforms over the past few years. The ones who haven't done so might not survive to see the next Christmas. But now that the biggest shopping weekend of the year (loosely known as "Black Friday") has come and gone, how do things look for holiday retail sales so far?

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More than 70% of U.S. adults shopped over the holiday weekend--increasingly online rather than in-person--which is 174 million people. Wow. This is a staggering number, and now that most sales promotions are spread out over several days in some cases weeks, the sense of urgency as well as the unruly crowds are largely becoming things of the past. Even more staggering is the fact that the average shopper spent a whopping $335, suggesting that people are still doing a significant amount of their holiday shopping on this important weekend despite the fact that promotions happen throughout the months of October, November, and December. Indeed "CyberMonday" was the single largest internet shopping day in American history with $6.6 billion spent online. The economy is firing on all cylinders right now with strong GDP and low unemployment, and so online retailers are giving thanks for last weekend and have every reason to expect that they will enjoy a very merry Christmas indeed. Sears and JC Penney's? Not so much.

Discussion: Do you think this holiday spending trend will continue and the revenue projection will be reached? Defend your assertions.