Black Friday store sales fall as Americans buy more online

Shoppers lined up outside the Best Buy in Mobile on Thanksgiving night. Black Friday has transformed into Black Thursday with many sales starting on Thanksgiving Day.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Black Friday shopping is shifting from hours spent in line to more time online.

Sales at retail stores on Black Friday fell 10 percent to $10.4 billion this year, down from $11.6 billion in 2014, according to research firm ShopperTrak. And sales on Thanksgiving dropped by the same percentage, to $1.8 billion.

A big reason for the decline is increased online shopping, as Americans hunt down deals on their smartphones, tablets and computers. And many retailers are offering bargains long before Thanksgiving, limiting the impact of Black Friday specials.

Online sales jumped 14.3 percent on Friday compared with last year, according to Adobe, which tracked activity on 4,500 retail websites. Online deals accounted for 40 percent of total sales, while email promotions drove 25 percent more sales compared with 2014.

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