Online sales boomed on Black Friday

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Black Friday 2017 was all about digital sales.

American shoppers spent a record $5 billion in 24 hours. That marks a 16.9% increase in dollars spent online compared with Black Friday 2016, according to data from Adobe Digital Insights, which tracks 80% of online spending at America’s 100 largest retail websites.

Digital retail giant Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) said Friday that orders were rolling in “at record levels.” More than 200,000 toys were sold in just the first five hours of the day, the company said. Amazon did not provide sales figures for Black Friday.

Meanwhile, malls and big-box retailers were left only slightly emptier.

Early estimates from ShopperTrak, a data analytics company that measures the number of shoppers at stores, said foot traffic “decreased less than one percent when compared to Black Friday 2016.”

A meager dip is good news for traditional retailers. As online-savvy businesses continue to gobble up more and more of the market share, companies like Macy’s (M), JCPenney (JCP), Gap(GPS) and Sears (SHLD) have suffered.

It remains to be seen exactly how much in-store shoppers were willing to spend. That will be a crucial data point in assessing retailers’ woes.

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