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US: Black Friday online shopping sales surge 26 per cent

US: Black Friday online shopping sales surge 26 per cent
Friday December 2 2011

U.S. online retailers reported an even stronger start to the holiday shopping season than brick-and-mortar stores.

Research firm comScore reported on Sunday that e-commerce spending jumped 26 percent on Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, compared with the same day a year ago. ComScore reported $816 million in online sales for the day, up from $648 million.

The 26 percent growth rate for online sales compares with a 7 percent retail sales increase reported for Black Friday by ShopperTrak, which gathers data from individual stores and shopping malls. At $11.4 billion, the brick-and-mortar sales total still dwarfs the online total.

Gian Fulgoni, comScore chairman, said in a statement that e-commerce enjoyed a banner day, despite some analysts' predictions that early store openings on Black Friday could hurt online sales.

"With brick-and-mortar retail also reporting strong gains on Black Friday, it's clear that the heavy promotional activity had a positive impact on both channels," Fulgoni said.

ComScore said 50 million Americans visited online retail sites on Black Friday, up 35 percent from a year ago. Each of the top five retail sites reported double-digit gains in visitors, in percentage terms, led by top retail site Amazon. Walmart ranked second, followed by Best Buy, Target and Apple.

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