Black Friday has swept the U.S. and U.K. as shoppers descended upon a number of retailers that opened their doors as early as Thanksgiving Day, chasing after offers of deeply discounted merchandise such as television sets, hand bags and the latest smartphones. Though many retailers have extended their shopping hours into the Thanksgiving holiday, some chose to stay closed until midnight such as video game retailer GameStop.
“We opened up 12:01 a.m. Black Friday,” GameStop CFO Rob Lloyd said. “It was important for us and to our associates that our teams spend the day with family and friends. We knew that with the compelling offers that we had, our customers would be there to take advantage of deals.” Popular games driving sales inlcuded "Assassins Creed: Unity" and "Grand Theft Auto 5," he added.
While GameStop and some other retailers remained closed on Thanksgiving, consumers have increasingly took to online shopping to escape the chaos and excitement that comes with shopping in-store.
Online sales have slowed during the afternoon lull and is now exactly as predicted at 27% growth YoY. pic.twitter.com/ki0kxjBohZ
â€” Adobe Digital Index (@AdobeIndex) November 27, 2014
Thanksgiving sales were up 27 percent this year, totaling $878 million as of 6 p.m. Traditional retailers that have increased their presence online were fueling sales, according to Adobe Digital Index. Many of those purchases came from tablets and smartphones, driving $254 million and 29 percent of online sales. Of total sales, purchases via smartphone accounted for 13 percent, an increase of 6 percent from 2013. The average discount recorded online was over 25 percent.
“Thanksgiving Day actuals are coming in nearly exactly as predicted with the exception of mobile sales share at 29 percent, 2 percent under original estimate,” Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst at Adobe Digital Index, said.
With the holiday season in full swing, 140 million shoppers are expected to take advantage of Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend deals in-store and online, according to the National Retail Federation.
“Online performance has been much stronger in recent years,” Lloyd said. “We’ve done a great job integrating the shopping experience across Web and mobile devices.”
But as retailers increasingly turn to online deals to drive sales, some have found their servers buckling under the pressure. Some of which included U.K retailer Tesco, whose site went down for 12 hours, according to IBTimes UK.
Update 11:21 a.m.: Thanksgiving Online sales totaled $1.33 billion, according to Adobe Digital Index. Early Black Friday data shows a 24 percent increase of spending online, totaling $715 million between midnight and 10 a.m. EST.