Evidence is mounting that physical stores held their ground against online migration over the Thanksgiving weekend.
The latest exhibit comes from esteemed CE, appliance and home furnishings dealer Abt Electronics, which reported boffo results for both its retail and online businesses.
The retailer said its lone Chicagoland superstore “shattered” prior company records with a 15 percent increase in in-store sales and a 10 percent spike in foot traffic for the four-day period of Black Friday through Cyber Monday (the showroom was closed for Thanksgiving).
“We were surprised by how much our in-store sales numbers and foot traffic surged,” acknowledged co-president Jon Abt. “Abt continues to prove that if you give customers a reason to come in, they still enjoy the in-store shopping experience.”
Moreover, rather than peak in the early morning hours as per retail tradition, the Black Friday crowds were at their heaviest around 3:00 p.m., due perhaps to the promise of weekend-long promotions, he said.
Abt, which was an early pioneer of authorized tech e-commerce, did equally well online, scoring another 15 percent hike in digital sales between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
Also up was basket size: Customers spent an average of $488 during the five-day selling period, which was 14 percent above retail-wide projections by Deloitte.
Abt’s biggest weekend draws included LG’s 65-inch OLED TVs, Sony PS4s and Sonos One speakers, while top Cyber Monday sellers included Sony Bluetooth speakers, GoPro Hero6 Black 4K Ultra HD cameras and Fitbit Charge 2 activity trackers, the company said.
Based on its propitious Thanksgiving start, co-president Abt is anticipating “a strong rest of the holiday season,” with sales gains of 10 to 15 percent year over year.
The award-winning company, founded in 1936 by grandparents Jewel and Dave Abt, operates a 107,000-square-foot showroom and nearly 250,000 square feet of warehouse space from a single 37-acre facility in Glenview, Ill.
The weekend results mirror those of SoCal dealer Video & Audio Center, which similarly reported record business at its showrooms, and ShopperTrak foot traffic data, which showed minimal impact from online channel migration.