Online sales surge, but brick-and-mortar retailers bullish for Black Friday

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Holiday shoppers hit stores on Black Friday in search of deals, but it was shaping up to be an all-channel event for retailers.

Target reported a record day of online sales on Thanksgiving, and Wal-Mart said it was one of its busiest days.

Hudson’s Bay CEO Gerald Storch, who oversees such names as Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue, told CNBC on Friday that stores were packed, but said those sales are only part of the story.

“It is more of an all-channel Black Friday, where what we’ve seen is a huge growth in internet sales on these days where Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday are starting to rival Cyber Monday for sales online,” he said in an interview with “Squawk Box.”

In fact, online spending is up this Thanksgiving. Shoppers spent about $1.15 billion as of Thanksgiving evening, a rise of almost 14 percent from a year ago, according to Adobe Digital Index. It said the day was on track to hit or come close to $2 billion.

And Amazon reported customers are shopping at record levels on Black Friday and is already on pace to surpass the day last year in terms of items ordered.

The growth in online sales has led many retailers to open their doors on Thanksgiving instead of kicking off the holiday shopping season on Black Friday.

Gilt founder: Stores already moved to the pocket of young consumer  

Another important part of the equation is mobile sales, Gilt Groupe founding CEO Alexis Maybank said.

That’s because more and more transactions are being completed through mobile as technology improves, she told “Squawk on the Street” on Friday.

“My philosophy is the store has already moved to the pocket for the young consumer. So you need to think that way first before thinking about your website, your storefront … because that’s where the whole world can connect to you at any time, at any moment,” said Maybank, who is now CEO of the visual shopping app Project September.

For Storch, of Hudson’s Bay, it isn’t about online versus in-store shopping. While its internet sales are growing, it doesn’t necessarily come at the expense of its in-store sales, he said.

“Black Friday lives on,” he said.

— CNBC’s Krystina Gustafson contributed to this report.

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