The Super Bowl of shopping had an early start again this year, but the game isn’t over yet.
Early numbers aren’t out yet on how many shoppers headed to stores on Thanksgiving, but it’s expected that more than three times the number of people will venture out to shop on the day after the holiday known as Black Friday.
Overall, the National Retail Federation expected about 30 million to shop on Thanksgiving, compared with 99.7 million on Black Friday. Overall, the trade group estimates about 135.8 million people will be shopping during the four-day weekend, compared with 133.7 million last year. And it expects sales overall for November and December to rise 3.7 percent to $630.5 billion compared with the same period last year.
But people may not be in the mood to shop much this year. Unemployment has settled into a healthy 5 percent rate, but shoppers still grapple with stagnant wages that are not keeping pace with rising daily costs like rent. And years later, they still insist on the deep discounts they got used to retailers offering during the recession.
Here’s what shoppers can expect as they head out to stores on Black Friday:
HELLO, CAN YOU HEAR ME?
For the first time, there’s expected to be more people visiting retailers’ web sites through their smartphones than on desktop computers or tablets during the first weekend of the holiday shopping season that begins on Thanksgiving Day.
Mobile traffic during the five-day start to what is typically the busiest shopping period of the year is expected to reach 56.9 percent of total traffic, up from 48.5 percent last year, according to IBM Watson