Black Friday Foot Traffic Falls While Online Sales Break Records

November 25, 2018, 4:08 PM UTC

Foot traffic to retail stores fell on Black Friday this year—even as online sales broke records.

Visits by shoppers to physical stores were down 1.7% from 2017 on Black Friday, and 1% for both Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day shopping, CNBC reported, citing data from ShopperTrak.

Online sales, meanwhile, hit a new record. Shoppers spent $6.22 billion online, up from 23.6% last year, according to Adobe Analytics. Through Shopify alone, consumers spent $37 million an hour.

The 1.7% drop in visits to physical stores is similar to consumer behavior on Black Friday a year ago. In 2017, that statistic was down 1.6% from the year prior.

“We know that online sales … has certainly eroded traffic from retailers over the years,” Brian Field, senior director of advisory services for ShopperTrak, told CNBC. “But what we have noticed is that the decline is starting to flatten out.”

But consumers are still interested in physical stores: many ordered items online for in-store pickup after the holiday, Adobe reported.

And online shopping faced a few hurdles. Many shoppers found major retailers’ websites—from Walmart to J. Crew—were struggling to handle traffic on Friday.

As Black Friday kicked off, retailers were confident the day would be a success.

“It was a strong start, it was strong online all day on Thursday and then strong in stores when we opened them,” Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette told Fortune on Friday morning.

On Black Friday itself, however, one factor may have contributed to the decline in foot traffic: more people are shopping on Thanksgiving.