NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — The holiday shopping season has arrived.
Shoppers packed into stores to take advantage of Black Friday deals, but as CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, it wasn’t all good news for retailers.
It was a 5-hour Saturday shopping marathon for Marisol Ortiz at the Staten Island Mall, but she still has more to get done.
“Oh a lot more!” she said.
Like other malls along the country the mall was not exactly jam packed. Black Friday used to be considered the Super Bowl of in-store shopping, but it appeared to take a hit, according to some retail analysts.
Retail store sales were $11.6-billion for Black Friday last year, that was down to $10.4-billion in 2015.
Black Friday sales, and early figures for Small Business Saturday, indicated that consumers have continued to shift from standing in lines to going online.
Americans who were hunting down deals on computers and smartphones were finding more and more internet deals, causing online sales to jump 14.3 percent.
As Britt Beemer, CEO of America’s Research Group explained, Walmart offered deep discounts on Thanksgiving morning to compete with Amazon.
“You’ve got retail battleship Walmart versus online battleship Amazon, and what they did on Thursday, they shot a shot across the bow,” Beemer said.
Even though many started shopping earlier in 2015, December is still expected to be the month in which consumers will spend the most in stores and online.
Beemer said many retailers seeing a slump can expect to see the customers return at the last minute.
“We know from past Christmases, if I walk into a store and buy something over on Thursday and Friday, there’s a 70 percent chance I’ll come back and buy two or three things during the season,” Beemer said.
Once Small Business Saturday is in the bag, many retailers focus on the next big shopping event, Cyber Monday.
Experts said consumers are spending, aided by lower gas prices that have put more money in their pockets.