Walmart, Target steal the show despite slow physical store traffic on Black Friday and Thanksgiving

Retail giants Walmart and Target defied the Thanksgiving and Black Friday trend this year with impressive in-store traffic. Despite retail sales at brick-and-mortar stores recording a decline of 6% on Black Friday, major retailers saw huge footfall, according to Wall Street analysts.

This surely is going to bring a smile on the faces of many retailers given that an increasing number of people are shopping online giving brick-and-mortar stores a run for their money.

Big retailers give competition to e-commerce players

walmart to sell chinese e commerce business to
A clown sits inside a bus seen in front of a Wal-Mart store in Mexico City January 11, 2013 Reuters

Retailers have been struggling for the past few years now with fewer people visiting physical stores as they continue to switch to online. Black Friday online sales hit a record $7.4 billion, surging 22.3% compared with last year.

Also, $4.2 billion were spent on online shopping this year on Thanksgiving Day, making it the best Thanksgiving for retailers. This year, Thanksgiving online sales increased 14.5% from last year, according to data released by Adobe Analytics.

However, big retailers like Walmart, Target and Best Buy stood out this Black Friday with all three registering strong in-store traffic. Electronic goods like television, and toys were the biggest draws at these retailers, according to Bank of America.

"We saw healthy traffic levels at Walmart on Thursday night and into Friday, led by the 50″ Roku Smart TV deal and other electronic offerings," said Deutsche Bank's research analyst Paul Trussell in a note to clients per CNBC.

Big retailers make an effort to offset trend

lack Friday
Black Friday Pixabay

Thanksgiving and Black Friday witnessed a jump of 17% combined in online sales this year, making both the days one of the biggest single day shopping events in the history.

However, analysts feel big retails, although not everyone, still have the potential to give e-commerce a stiff competition. According to Morgan Stanley retails giants like Walmart, Target and Best Buy are among the best positioned to draw traffic to brick-and-mortar stores amid an increasing number of customers shifting to buying online.

One of the biggest draws at these physical stores is toys. Traditionally, toys are one of the most purchased items during the holiday shopping season. And with Christmas around the corner, brick-and-mortar stores can expect heavy footfall once again.