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Amazon, Walmart Tied For Black Friday Supremacy

Walmart and Amazon drew the most shoppers over the five-day Black Friday weekend.

It looks like Walmart’s multibillion-dollar catch-up efforts are beginning to pay off.

According to new survey data by market research firm Senex, Walmart tied Amazon for first place in the five-day Black Friday week race, with each selling to 97 million consumers, or 53 percent of shoppers, through their websites and stores.

Target came in a distant third, selling to 57 million shoppers, followed by Kohl’s (40 million), Toys“R”Us (38 million) and Best Buy (35 million).

All told, 190 million adults shopped online or in physical stores at some point during the five-day period of Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.

Black Friday was the biggest shopping day, with over 151 million Americans hitting the sales floors and keyboards, followed by Cyber Monday, which drew 144 million consumers.

Of those, 126 million shopped online and 107 million made online purchases, making it the top day for web-based buying.

Small Business Saturday (Nov. 25) was the third most popular shopping day, bringing out 120 million consumers, followed by Thanksgiving (105 million) and Sunday (Nov. 26), with 88 million shoppers.

However, Thanksgiving Day had the highest close rate (nearly all survey respondents who shopped that day bought something), followed by Cyber Monday, when 89 percent of those who shopped physical stores made a purchase and 85 percent of cyber shoppers bought something online (see charts, below).

As to what exactly they were buying, 71 percent went with apparel and 62 percent purchased tech, followed by non-electronic toys (47 percent) and holiday decorations (46 percent).

What’s more, 50 percent of respondents said they planned to spend more during this year’s Black Friday week than last year, and only 16 percent planned to spend less, which accounts for the cash register-busting sales tally of $94 billion, or an average $516 per shopper, over the five-day period.

“Signs of a strengthening economy clearly showed up in this year’s study,” said Bob Tancula, president of Senex and longtime TWICE Top 100 reports research partner. “Consumers expressed confidence in spending, and spending more, this year.”

Perhaps more surprising: “They also communicated how much they enjoy taking part in the experiences of shopping over the holiday weekend,” he added, “both online and in stores.”

Senex’s Monitor of Shopping Trends survey was conducted among 1,156 U.S. adult consumers on Nov. 29.

Senex is a leader in providing insights on retailers, channels, trades, consumers and products for the home. For over 25 years, principals at Senex have consulted with manufacturers and retailers about identifying trends and opportunities to grow their businesses. Headquartered in Louisville, Ky., with offices in Montana, Senex offers clients sophisticated understanding of their customers, consumers and markets.