Fewer shoppers in stores as online eats into Black Friday

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In Europe, though, Black Friday drew a backlash from activists, politicians and even consumers who criticized the USA shopping phenomenon as capitalism run amok.

Thanksgiving as a holiday was designated in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln to be on the last Thursday of November, though days of thanks have been proclaimed dating back to President George Washington.

"Forty-one percent (67 million) are expected to shop on Small Business Saturday, and 78 percent of those say they will do so specifically to support small businesses", according to information on the federation's website. But not every shopper is there for the deals. Still, she arrived at Macy's Herald Square in Manhattan with her son at 6. a.m. on Friday.

Theodora Hatcher said she started holiday shopping two weeks ago, lured by online deals.

As for the shortened calendar, she prefers it.

"He wanted to experience all of the excitement so I took him out, and he's excited actually", she said.

Seturah Winkler, 43, was shopping in the women's shoe department with her friend.

People braved the cold as they lined up at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree overnight, rushing into to the shopping center when the doors opened at 12:30 a.m.

In other words, people spent 4.3x online on Black Friday as they do on normal days. "I love the thrill of it".

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Jesse Lingard was captain for the day and opened the scoring - his first goal in 28 matches - after just 10 minutes through a deflected effort.

Adobe Analytics predicts a loss of $1 billion in online revenue from a shortened season.

Early discounts offered this month by chains seeking to extend this year's shorter holiday season saw a dip in the numbers lining up at stores across the country, according to consultants and analysts making spot checks on the ground.

The NPD Group looked into the shopping season for 2018 and found that Black Friday ranked as the 14th best day for restaurants. It was in 1960s Philadelphia, that the term started getting associated with shopping the day after Thanksgiving Day.

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

"This has been a really good start", said Rod Sides, vice chairman and leader of US retail and distribution practice at Deloitte LLP. -China trade war, which has forced many companies to delay plans to invest and expand.

Consumer spending accounts for around 70 percent of U.S. economic growth and remained strong during 2019, even though production stagnated and business investment was poor. So far, Americans have kept up their spending, allaying fears of a recession.

Kinsey McNary, left, shops with her mother Darci McNary a Target store in Frisco, Texas, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019.

Some 56 percent of consumers interviewed during the first week of November had already begun their holiday shopping, according to an annual survey released last week by the National Retail Federation and the Prosper Insights & Analytics.

"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. The survey of 7,917 adult consumers was conducted October 31 through November 6.