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The Santa Claus Rally: Early Holiday Sales Shatter Records to the Tune of $72B


Skyrocketing sales have shattered records as Americans gobbled up Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals with wicked weather boosting online shopping.

More than one billion dollars a day: That's how much holiday shoppers have spent since November first. Some are now calling it a "Santa Claus Rally."

It all started when retailers hoping for strong holiday shopping faced a different kind of challenge this year. The calendar left them with just 27 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The later-than-normal Thanksgiving date cut the typical holiday stretch by nearly a week and brought retailers a calendar they'd not seen since 2013.

In response, many companies started their holiday sales weeks ago and that's led to record holiday spending - more than $72 billion from Nov. 1 to Dec. 1 according to Adobe Analytics.

Still, shoppers set new records on Black Friday and analysts predict the same for Cyber Monday. In both cases, online sales are driving the numbers.

On Black Friday, consumers spent $7.4 billion in transactions on their phones, computers, and tablets. That's the biggest Black Friday online sales number ever and it accompanied a slight dip in traffic at brick-and-mortar stores. RetailNext says the number of Black Friday shoppers in stores dropped by two percent this year.

Severe weather in many parts of the country this Thanksgiving weekend could have encouraged the online sales say analysts. They also note that many shoppers have simply become more proficient in navigating purchases online.

Dan Celia, the president of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, says some of the biggest retailers have benefited from Amazon's success. 

"Amazon taught consumers how to buy online," he told CBN News. "Then what has happened this year is WalMart.com and Target.com have come in like gangbusters and taken advantage of that."

Salesforce estimates that retailers offered an average of 30 percent off Monday, the best discounts of the year.

It's one reason why analysts predict a record $9.4 billion in online sales for Monday, up by about 19 percent from last year's Cyber Monday.

Retailers created Cyber Monday in 2005 to encourage people to shop online after the Thanksgiving break.

Today marks the seventh anniversary of GivingTuesday. It began as a day that simply encouraged people to do good and has grown into a global movement to inspire people to give generously to those in need.

"Take a big breath from all the spending and say, 'Today's the day I'm going to give back some of the incredible resources that God has given us,'" Celia said.

Find out more about CBN's Giving Tuesday opportunities HERE.  



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