Parking lots were full and shopping bags were plentiful in some places Saturday as holiday gift-seekers were out looking for bargains, even as the competition among retailers to offer earlier deals and snag customers first has pulled sales forward.
At the Woodbury Common outlets north of New York City, retail expert Craig R. Johnson was impressed by how many people were there — though crowds were still not as heavy as several years ago before online shopping was such a draw.
“Some stores like Nike had like a hundred people in the checkout line,” said Johnson, president of consulting group Customer Growth Partners. “Virtually everyone there was carrying a bag — one or two or three or more.”
As shoppers said stores also seemed less crowded on Black Friday than in earlier years, data from Adobe Analytics, the research arm of software maker Adobe, showed that a record $5.03 billion was spent online by the end of the day, an increase of nearly 17 percent from a year earlier.
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