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Will E-Commerce Drive Retail Sales This Black Friday?

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Per a research report from BlackFriday.com, an increasing number of consumers prefer shopping online on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Moreover, more people prefer shopping on Black Friday than on Cyber Monday. Understandably, online shopping is fast becoming the preferred option for shoppers, with Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN - Free Report) leading in the race.

That said, other brick-and-mortar giants too aren’t far behind. An increasing number of retailers are coming up with pop up stores and adding more space to their stores before the holiday season. In fact, per the National Retail Federation (NRF) retail sales are expected to reach almost $721 billion. Black Friday undoubtedly is a big day for retailers and with online shopping making things easier, sales is likely to get a boost on this day.

Online Preferred Choice

Per a recent research report from BlackFriday.com, 68% of the people shopping on Black Friday will do most of it online. E-commerce has been driving holiday sales for the last few years with an increasing number of consumers preferring to shop online. With the holiday season approaching, online sales are once again expected dominate the retail space.

That said, according to the survey, Black Friday is likely to generate more sales than Cyber Monday. According to another survey by Deloitte, online sales are likely to grow 22%, with e-commerce sales expected between $128 billion and $134 billion during the holiday season.

Undoubtedly, Black Friday is an important day for retailers and Amazon, according to the survey, is once again leading the race. Per the survey, 29% of shoppers feel they will get the best deals on Amazon on Black Friday, while 32% say they will get the best deal on Cyber Monday. Walmart, Inc. (WMT - Free Report) ranks second with 25% and Target Corporation (TGT - Free Report) comes third with 15% of shoppers saying that they will get the best deals on Black Friday. Target has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), while Walmart and Amazon each carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Interestingly, per a research by deal aggregator RetailMeNot, 60% of people plan to shop with online retailers only. It goes without saying that Amazon has changed the entire retail ballgame in the last few years. Other online retailers like Best Buy Co Inc (BBY - Free Report) and eBay Inc. (EBAY - Free Report) too are expected to come up with attractive deal this year. Last year, the eBay website expected a 20.7 million visitor over the Black Friday weekend.

Others Join the Race

Online retailers are definitely giving stiff competition to brick-and-mortar giants. However, brick-and-mortar stores too are leaving no stone unturned to boost sales through the Black Friday weekend. From adding space to coming up with pop up stores, brick and mortar giants are doing all possible things to make the most of the event.

Walmart and Target like every year will be coming up with a wide array of deals before Black Friday. Walmart is likely to issue its Black Friday ad a couple of weeks ahead of Thanksgiving. Macy’s Inc (M) will be one of the few retails that will remain open on Thanksgiving to kick off Black Friday sales.

E-commerce sales definitely have been climbing over the last few years but the appeal of physical stores is far from fading. E-commerce sales have shown steady growth since the Census Bureau began tracking in 1999. However, the latest figures from early this year show that online still contributes to only 10% of the overall retail sales. It thus needs to be seen, how brick-and-mortar stores compete with their online rivals this Black Friday.  

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