Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has conquered the United States, more Americans shopped online than instore on the busiest shopping day of the year.
Around 44% of Americans shopped online and 40% shopped instore on Black Friday (November 25), a survey by the National Retail Federation found. Black Friday; the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, is the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States. Among other things, it traditionally marks the beginning of the holiday shopping frenzy.
The total number of shoppers is hard to determine because many people shopped online and went to the store, The Los Angeles Times reported. There were around 154 million shoppers but they made 208 million shopping trips or searches.
That means 67.76 million Americans shopped online over the weekend. They made around 109 million online shopping expeditions compared to 99 million trips to the store.
Paradigm Shift in Shopping Habits
This marks a paradigm shift in shopping behavior because it means Americans are more likely to shop online than at a brick and mortar store.
It also indicates that the great American love affair with shopping is slowly ending. Data from ShopperTrak indicates that foot traffic in stores fell by one percent over the weekend.
One obvious winner from this year’s Black Friday is Walmart (NYSE: WMT) CEO Doug McMillon. The numbers justify his decisions to buy the discount website Jet.com for $3.3 billion; and hire its CEO Marc Lore to direct Walmart’s ecommerce offensive over the summer. Lore is widely recognised as an eCommerce pioneer who created Diapers.com and Soap.com and sold the company that operated them Quids Inc. to Amazon for $550 million in 2010.
A possible loser is Target (NYSE: TGT) which has refused to make the kind of huge investments in ecommerce seen at Walmart. Target’s revenues fell by $1.17 billion during the third quarter of 2016.
Also feeling the pain will be department store operators like JC Penney (NYSE: JCP) and Macy’s (NYSE: M). Macy’s announced plans to close 100 of its stores in August 2016. JC Penney has managed to survive by targeting older customers who are less likely to shop online.
Even harder hit will be Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) which is already closing dozens of Kmart stores across the United States. Sears is in such lousy shape that all it would take is one bad holiday season to drive it out of business.
It looks as if ecommerce is the future of shopping. If this trend continues, America is going to be full of empty shopping centers, deserted malls and abandoned stores. The retail future belongs to Amazon and Jeff Bezos.