Early reports on Friday suggest the shopping holiday was off to a slower-than-normal start, but retail investors are hopeful that sales will pick up over the weekend ahead of Cyber Monday next week.
Early In-Store Traffic Reports: Bloomberg reported calm and quiet stores at a Target Corporation TGT location in Chicago and a Macy's Inc M in Stamford, Connecticut on Friday morning despite a report from Salesforce Inc CRM that the average Thanksgiving Day retail discount was 31%, 7% larger than a year ago.
Adobe Inc ADBE reported Friday morning that holiday shoppers spent a record $5.29 billion on Thanksgiving Day, up 2.9% from a year ago. Mobile sales represented 55% of total online sales on Thursday, up 8.3% from a year ago.
Adobe projects $9 billion in online sales on Friday, up just 1% from a year ago. For the five-day Cyber Week shopping holiday that extends from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, Adobe projects $34.8 billion in online spending, up 2.8% year-over-year.
Adobe estimates shoppers have spent $77.74 billion so far in the month of November.
On Friday, Visa Inc V reported its November U.S. payments volume was up 9% from a year ago, suggesting consumers have been resilient so far this holiday season despite inflation and economic uncertainty.
Patient Shoppers: Anecdotal reports of slower-than-normal Black Friday foot traffic at department stores may not necessarily be a red flag for retail investors. Analysts at Cowen said Friday that shoppers may delay their holiday spending this year as they take a wait-and-see approach in the hopes that prices will fall even further as Christmas approaches.
Retail stocks were mixed on Friday in a holiday-shortened session on Wall Street. Here's how some popular retail tickers finished the trading day:
- SPDR S&P Retail ETF XRT was down less than 0.1%.
- Walmart Inc WMT was up 0.4%.
- Best Buy Co Inc BBY was down 1.4%.
- Nordstrom Inc JWN was up 2%.
- Target was down 0.1%.
- Macy's was up 0.9%.
Benzinga's Take: Investors will have a better idea of the winners and losers of this year's Cyber Week by Monday and Tuesday of next week. On Friday, D.A. Davidson urged investors to take a cautious approach to retail stocks, pointing out that the retail sector almost always underperforms the broad market from Thanksgiving Day through the end of the year.
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