Macy's suffers credit card processing slowdown on Black Friday (M)

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American shoppers spent a record $5 billion in 24 hours. Cyber Monday sales will be even bigger than Black Friday sales, experts say.

In the wake of Thanksgiving weekend, what marks the start of the holiday shopping season, retail stocks are rallying on upbeat sentiment around preliminary sales results.

Deal-hungry customers spent as much as $1 million per minute on the Internet at the height of Black Friday, e-commerce platform Shopify said.

Predictions are that overall online holiday sales will reach $107 billion, rising more than 13% from previous year.

Adobe Analytics, meanwhile, saw a 17.9% rise in the dollar value of online sales on Black Friday and Thanksgiving, to $7.9 billion. On Black Friday itself, the tally for online spending was $5 billion, up massively from $3.34 billion past year.

According to Ipsos Retail Performance, UK footfall on Black Friday was up 0.95 per cent year-on-year, with 42 per cent of retailers experiencing footfall growth.

"There had been much conjecture this year about whether Black Friday would be a hit or miss with United Kingdom shoppers, and many retailers followed the lead of their U.S. counterparts, extending their promotional campaigns over two weeks or more, which did risk diluting the impact of the event", he said.

ShopperTrak senior executive Brian Field released a statement on the debate over the decline in in-store retail shopping.

According to Adobe Insights, 61.1 per cent of shoppers' visits to retailers' websites were for mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. But Salesforce, surveying the signs so far, claims that "when it comes to holiday shopping, shoppers now overwhelmingly choose digital".

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