(ZEROHEDGE) – The coronavirus has accelerated a trend in American holiday-season consumption: the shift away from packing malls on Black Friday, and toward shopping online, placing some orders as early as "Prime Day" (which Amazon held in October this year). Instead of braving the elements and the lines, a growing number of Americans instead place most, or all, of their holiday gift orders via Amazon.
In recent years, the trend was attributed to bitterly cold weather and other impediments. But old habits die hard, and up until last year, millions of Americans continued to pack into stores on Black Friday, with many big box stores opening earlier and earlier (eliciting public backlash over pulling workers and shoppers away from their families).
But as COVID-19 infections peak and governors tighten restrictions on 'non-essential' businesses like retailers, analysts are bracing for e-commerce sales to finally eclipse brick-and-mortar sales for the first time.
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