Shopular points out robust holiday sales online and in stores

Shopular points out robust holiday sales online and in stores

Target said Friday its Thanksgiving morning online orders doubled after it took the unprecedented step of putting most of its “doorbuster” specials online before its stores opened later that day.

And the Minneapolis-based discounter said traffic to its stores remained strong, boosted by its decision to open earlier than ever, at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. That allowed more families to shop together, although there were plenty of critics, too.

“Starting in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving Day on, through our Thanksgiving night store openings, traffic across all channels was strong,” Jeff Jones, Target’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement released Friday morning.

U.S. foot-traffic data provided Friday morning by Shopular, a mobile app with 1 million users, suggests that Target did well at the kickoff of the Black Friday weekend, but other retailers did better.

The big winner: Kohl’s, which Shopular said saw the biggest bump from a normal weekday. Next came Walmart, Best Buy and J.C. Penney. Of the nine major U.S. retailers tracked, Target ranked seventh, Shopular said.

Target said traffic to its website set a record for Thanksgiving, although it provided few specifics.

Hot items included the new iPad Air, flat-screen TVs, Nintendo 3DS XL gaming systems, and Zoomer the Robot Dog, Target said.

In Minnesota specifically, Shopular said traffic counts saw the biggest lift at Walmart stores, which drew very strong numbers on Thursday night into Friday morning. The three next biggest Minnesota traffic increases were seen at Toys “R” Us, Kohl’s and Sears, Shopular said.

Meanwhile, Walmart announced early Friday that its Thanksgiving Day traffic had also set records, with the nation’s largest retailer selling 2 million televisions and 1.4 million tablets.

“Last year, Walmart served 22 million customers on Thanksgiving Day,” Walmart said in a statement. “This year, even more customers chose to shop Walmart.”

Between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, Walmart said it processed more than 10 million transactions at its store registers.

Its website also processed nearly 400 million page views on Thanksgiving Day.

“Our Black Friday events were bigger, better, faster, cheaper and safer than ever,” Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon said in a statement.

In St. Paul on Friday morning, organizers have scheduled a march to protest low wages for retail workers and store janitors. The march and rally will kick off at 11 a.m. in the Midway shopping area, where both Target and Walmart have stores.

Tom Webb can be reached at 651-228-5428. Follow him at