Black Friday part of $730B holiday retail splurge in 2019

People wait in line for a Best Buy store to open for an early Black Friday sale on Thanksgiving Day 2018 in Overland Park Kan

People wait in line for a Best Buy store to open for an early Black Friday sale on Thanksgiving Day 2018 in Overland Park

Around this time it can get a little hectic with thousands of people hunting for Black Friday deals.

Kohl's and J.C. Penney opened Thanksgiving afternoon and stayed open throughout the night while other stores, including Target and Best Buy, closed for a few hours and will reopen at 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. respectively.

Jono Bacon - a retail consultant who works with clients like Microsoft, Sony, and Dyson - told Business Insider that the growth of online shopping on Black Friday is a response to several factors, including major e-commerce companies like Amazon starting to promote holiday deals earlier and earlier in the season, as well as general fatigue over the brick-and-mortar doorbuster.

Arundhathi Aravapalli brought her friend from India so he could see what it's all about.

"It adds pressure", she said.

Congress officially set the holiday as the fourth Thursday of November in 1941, after retailers complained in 1939 that the shopping season was too short when the holiday happened to fall on the fifth Thursday.

The tower is essentially a giant, floor-to-ceiling cylindrical locker, with a mechanism at the center to grab items from individual slots and deposit them at the bottom for customers. Adobe Analytics predicts a loss of $1 billion in online revenue from this shopping season which is six fewer days than a year ago.

NRF expects online and catalog sales, which are included in the total, to increase between 11% and 14% for the holiday period. Still, it expects online sales will reach $143.7 billion, up 14.1% from last year's holiday season.

Adobe Analytics said Thanksgiving Day set records for online shopping.

The 2019 holiday season will be a good measure of the USA economy's health.

According to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, only 36 percent of American consumers plan to shop on Black Friday this year, one percent less than last year and a 23 percent drop compared to 2015.

"The overall picture is positive", said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, a retail consultancy. For almost a decade, that official kickoff has been creeping ever closer to Thanksgiving, eating into time people used to spend around the holiday table. Analysts blame at least part of that on the U.S.

This year's holiday season will not only test the resilience of such companies but will be a challenge for most as Donald Trump's trade war with China begins to take its toll. She makes the annual trip because she says the stores offer better deals and a more fun environment than the shops back home.

"This is further evidence that the holiday season has grown far beyond the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas", said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF, in a statement.

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