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Black Friday shopping spree turns online as US COVID-19 cases hit new high

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NEW YORK — Black Friday, one of the days most anticipated by United States consumers, saw a shift in consumption patterns this year due to the surge in COVID-19 cases nationwide, as many more shoppers opted for online sales.

According to Adobe Analytics, United State consumers’ online spending made a new record high of US$5,1 billion on Thanksgiving Day with a year-on-year growth of 21,5%.

Meanwhile, customer flows in physical stores also sped up.

“It was quick. It was a short line. It is not very busy now,” Christina, a 74-year-old woman who did not give her surname, told Xinhua yesterday morning. She only spent about five minutes buying a toaster oven at Macy’s flagship store in New York City that day.

Only a few dozen in-store shoppers were seen at Macy’s flagship store, Saks Fifth Avenue and other retailers’ stores around the city on Black Friday, a sharp contrast with the crowds and long queues at the same time any other year.

“This year is scary. You want to get out of the store quicker to protect yourself even though we have masks. We have to prevent socialising and gathering with large crowds. We have to keep a distance,” Christina said.

COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 13 million on Friday, reaching 13 047 202, with a total of 264 624 deaths, as of 4:26pm local time according to the Centre for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. — Xinhua

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