Tablets were the most popular item over Thanksgiving weekend

black friday online spending hit record 1 2 billion

Shoppers in the US have been splashing the cash over the last few days, both online and on foot, with the Consumers Electronics Association (CEA) reporting that nearly 39 million US adults shopped on Thursday alone, marking an increase of over 10 million on last year. Many will link the leap to the fact that more and more major retailers are choosing to trade on Thanksgiving.

According to the CEA, 35 percent of all shoppers bought tech devices on Thursday and Friday, and with retailers gearing up to tempt more consumers to open their wallets today – Cyber Monday – that figure is certain to climb.

Tablets were the most popular item for shoppers grabbing electronics, with 29 percent picking up a slate for someone special, or possible themselves.

Headphones were also a popular choice, with 24 percent investing in a new audio experience, while 21 percent forked out on video game hardware, and 19 percent on smartphones. While shoppers seem unable to resist the lure of slates, the data appears to confirm what other research companies have been telling us for some time, that laptops and notebooks are losing their luster, with only 17 percent of shoppers who bought tech devices choosing such a machine.

Commenting on the CEA’s data, which was collected via phone from an albeit small sample of 622 US-based adults, Shawn DuBravac, the firm’s chief economist and senior director of research, said, “Consumers appear to have responded to retailers’ strong push to get them in the stores and online early this year. The dust is still settling, but early indications point to a weekend of record-breaking online sales and a healthy appetite for key tech products.”

The CEA is forecasting that 126 million US adults will have shopped by the end of Monday.

“Once again, tech was second only to clothes as the most popular item purchased this weekend, with toys rounding out the top three,” the CEA said in its report.

Evidence that consumers have been out in force in recent days came in sales figures from Walmart, which it issued even before Black Friday was through. The retail giant said shoppers at its stores, as well as online, had snapped up 1.4 million tablets and 2 million TVs, with the Xbox One and PS4 also big sellers.

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