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Lego, iPads boost Black Friday online sales in US

US consumers spent a record US$3.3 billion online on Black Friday, scooping up everything from Lego sets to Apple iPads, according to Adobe Systems Inc.

Two-day sales starting on Thanksgiving Day totaled US$5.3 billion, marking an 18 percent increase from a year earlier, Adobe said on Saturday in a statement.

Spending via mobile devices on Friday increased 33 percent to an all-time high of US$1.2 billion.

The surge in online shopping has taken a toll on brick-and-mortar stores.

In-store visits dropped a combined 1 percent during the two days from a year earlier, ShopperTrak, a retail data provider, said in a separate statement.

Adobe, a design software company based in San Jose, California, said the most popular items included Lego A/S building sets, Razor electric scooters, flying drones, Mattel Inc Barbie dolls, Samsung Electronics Co 4K television sets and Apple Inc iPads and MacBooks.

“Shoppers hit the buy button at unprecedented levels as conversion rates were up nearly a full percent across all devices in the evening hours on Black Friday,” Adobe Digital Insights analyst Tamara Gaffney said in the statement.

“We had projected Cyber Monday to be a US$3.36 billion day, and to win the crown of largest shopping day ever,” Gaffney said. “But Cyber Monday may not have as much gas left in the tank.”

The widespread use of mobile phones and access to high-speed Internet are likely contributing to more shoppers turning to the Internet ahead of Cyber Monday, Gaffney said.

Adobe said it tracks 80 percent of all online transactions at the top 100 US retailers.

The US National Retail Federation has projected that about 137.4 million consumers will make purchases in stores or online over the four-day weekend that started on Thanksgiving, marking the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

The amount Americans have spent has declined in the past three years, slipping 26 percent from 2013 to an average of US$299.60 per person last year, according to the trade group.

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