This year’s holiday shopping season was off and running Thursday — right after Halloween ended.
Target and Kohl’s were among the national retailers running Black Friday preview sales in stores and online, an early promotional tease to the traditional heavy shopping that occurs the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Black Friday will be Nov. 23 this year.
Research company Adobe Analytics projected Thursday that online shopping would reach $124.1 billion this holiday season, up 14.8 percent from last year, as consumers increasingly make their purchases on the internet rather than in person.
That shift, which has been occurring for several years, is one reason many longtime retailers have closed stores or filed for bankruptcy, most recently Sears Holdings.
Still, having a physical store remains an advantage for retailers because 47 percent of consumers visit stores to see and touch products they want to later buy online, Adobe said.
Three of the busiest online shopping days this season — Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, or the Monday after Thanksgiving — will have 16.5 percent to 17.6 percent more in sales, Adobe estimated.
Retail sales overall this holiday season are expected to climb 4.3 percent to 4.8 percent compared with last year’s holiday season, to a range of $717.5 billion to $720.9 billion, the National Retail Federation said last month.
The figures exclude spending on car, gasoline and restaurants.