Black Friday Is on Track to Hit $9.5 Billion in Sales, According to New Data

Just how big a shopping holiday is Black Friday?

According to rewards- and loyalty-program operator Swagbucks, it’s on track to become the biggest sales event in history, with a forecasted $9.5 billion.

The firm released new data showing that gross merchandise volume — a metric used by e-commerce businesses to measure transactions — through 5 a.m. today went up 25 percent year over year. (Sales between 3 a.m. and 5:59 a.m. alone increased 47 percent.)

“We believe this will be the biggest Black Friday ever,” said David Weinrot, chief operating officer of parent company Prodege.

Big-box and megaretailers are seeing spikes in today’s sales, with Target posting an increase of more than 30 percent year over year on Thanksgiving Day and 10 percent the morning of Black Friday.

Similarly, specialty retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods are seeing skyrocketing numbers. The Pittsburgh-based company is up 85 percent this Black Friday, while yesterday’s sales shot up 164 percent. The same goes for pure-play online retailers such as Overstock.com, reporting a rise in sales of 80 percent through the morning of Black Friday and 67 percent for the full day of Thanksgiving.

Swagbucks partners with about 1,500 retailers including Amazon and Walmart, offering cash back, coupons and discounts on online purchases for the shopping holiday.

According to research from discount comparison site LovetheSales.com, 32 percent more online deals are offered this year versus last. Additionally, a recent survey by Deloitte revealed that 7 in 10 consumers planned to shop during the Thanksgiving weekend, with 91 percent saying they would make their purchases via e-commerce and 89 percent choosing brick-and-mortar stores.

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