2 3 From the Editor Al Krulick Editor-in-Chief E Editor-in-Chief Al Krulick Associate Editor Lorie Steiner Director of Advertising Lauren Blackwell Vice President of Business Development Editor-in-Chief Al Krulick Associate Editor Lorie Steiner Director of Advertising Lauren Blackwell Research Directors Paul Payne Brendan McElroy Josh Conklin Lisa Curry Joanna Whitney Digital Strategist Scott Mosquera Creative Director Dana Long Vice President of Business Development Erin O’Donoghue Vice President of Publishing Andre Barefield CGO Alexander Wynne-Jones COO Brian Andersen Executive Publisher / CEO Marcus VandenBrink USA Canada Caribbean Oceania Email for all inquiries: WWW.BUSINESSVIEWMAGAZINE.COM 12559 New Brittany Blvd Fort Myers, 33907 239.220.5554 CONTACT US Economic conditions are good, unemployment is the lowest in 17years, and credit is easilyavailable.So the predictionwas that,this year,shoppers would spendmore than ever during the holiday shopping season.And for retail- ers,it’s always been amake-or-break proposition: strong sales can produce a successful year; aweakholiday sales season can spell disaster. Well, the early numbers are in and, across the land, store owners are breathing a sigh of relief, because, so far, so good.Thanksgiving generated $2.87billion in sales, Black Friday $5.03 billion, and “Small Business Saturday” (the latest ‘named’ shopping holiday) brought in $2.82 billion-all significant rises year-on-year. As anticipated, online sales growth was the most impressive.According to Salesforce,BlackFriday sawa 24 percent increase in digital commerce, and the combined digital commerce for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday represented a 26 percent growth rate. Shopify, the e-commerce platform, says the more than 500,000 mer- chants that use its software cumula- tively experienced their highest Black Friday sales to date.And Cyber Mon- day posted the largest-ever single day of online sales in the U.S.According to Adobe Systems,which extrapolates its figures by analyzing 80 percent of online transactions to the 100 largest web retailers in the country,consumers purchased $6.59 billion online during that day,alone. In fact,so far,November has racked up $50 billion in online revenue,up 16.8 percent from last year.2016’s hol- iday season’s total for online sales was $94.4 billion; 2017is expected to be the first year to break$100 billion. Not surprisingly,Amazon accounted for themost online sales of any single platform.According toHitwise,a division of Convexity that measures behavior across desktop,tablet,and smartphone devices,the e-commerce giant account- ed for 45.1 percent and 54.9 percent of all transactions respectivelyonThanks- giving and BlackFriday-5.6million and 7.1million transactions. This year,the top items for purchas- ing,according to Shopify,were apparel, accessories,and housewares (in that order).The“cyber”of Cyber Monday ismore related to howpeople shop thanwhat they shop for: electronics is the sixth-most-popular category for shopping,behindmakeup and food.The best-selling electronics includedmany of the usual suspects: Google Chrome- cast,Apple iPads,SamsungTablets, AppleAirPods,and SonyPlaystationVRs. Games and consoles included Super MarioOdyssey,Nintendo Switch,and MicrosoftXboxOneX. As the shopping season extends towards Christmas, the average Amer- ican is expected to spend $1,189- six percent more than last year. So, as all the numbers suggest, it looks as if it’s going to be a jolly holiday season for the nation’s retailers. Look for lots of presents under the tree.