U.S. Thanksgiving Shoppers to Spend $4.4B Online

Thanksgiving day shoppers in the United States are expected to drop a record amount of money online, as consumers gear up for a compressed holiday shopping season.

Early data released by Adobe showed online retail sales on Thursday will reach a record of $4.4 billion, a 18.9% year-over-year increase from last year’s sales total of $3.7 billion. So far, $2.2 billion in goods have been sold online, according to Adobe, with nearly half of those sales coming from mobile devices.

Sales of that magnitude would come a day before Black Friday, which has traditionally kicked off the holiday shopping season. Shoppers face an abbreviated holiday shopping season compared to 2018. This year’s Thanksgiving holiday happened one week after last year’s, shortening the season by six days.

Still, Adobe expects Black Friday sales to reach $7.5 billion this year. That would represent a gain of 20.5% from 2018. Cyber Monday sales are also forecast to grow by nearly 20% to $9.4 billion.

Online sales have become increasingly important for retailers in recent years as consumer trends have shifted from shopping at physical stores to buying products from their phones or computers. Companies such as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Walmart (NYSE: WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT) have benefited from this shift.

Amazon — a perennial darling on Wall Street — is up 21.1% this year while Walmart and Target have surged 27.5% and 90.5%, respectively. Others such as Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS), Gap and Macy’s have struggled as shopping continues to move away from brick-and-mortar retailers in favor of online shopping. Year to date, Kohl’s shares are down 27.2% while Gap’s (NYSE:GPS) stock has shed 34.4% of its value. Macy’s (NYSE:M) is the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500 in 2019, plunging 48%.