Consumers Continue a March Toward Online Shopping | Economy

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated a shift toward e-commerce this year amid lockdown orders that kept people home and a lingering wariness of in-person shopping, and recent data foreshadows a holiday season driven by online sales.

Online retails sales as a percentage of total sales skyrocketed from April through June, jumping to 16.1% from 11.8% during the first quarter of the year – easily the most dramatic jump in the last two decades of steady increases, according to Census Bureau data.

And the latest numbers from Amazon’s Prime Day event reinforce the trend, kicking off what’s likely to be an e-commerce heavily holiday season.

Amazon has not released sales data from the two-day event, but estimates from third-party firms – though varied – indicate that purchases were up significantly over last year.

In the U.S., Prime Day sales jumped 36% from last year, according to research firm Edison Trends. The jump, while significant, is less than the 42% increase in Prime Day sales from 2018 to 2019, according to the firm’s estimates.

Amazon said third-party businesses that sell through the platform sold more than $3.5 billion in products during the 48-hour period, a jump of 60% from last year.

Other online retailers also saw huge sales figures Tuesday and Wednesday, with more than half of the top-100 e-commerce sellers offering competing sales in an attempt to lure shoppers away from the Amazon event, analysis from Digital Commerce 360 shows. Online sales for non-Amazon sites jumped 76% in the U.S. on Tuesday compared to the first day of Prime Day last year, according to Salesforce.com Inc. and Digital Commerce 360.

The Week in Cartoons: Oct. 12-16

Amazon postponed this year’s Prime Day after struggling to handle the influx of orders earlier this year. Prime Day is typically held in the summer.

Retail sales have rebounded after plummeting at the outset of the pandemic. Sales rose by 1.9% in September compared to the previous month, the Census Bureau said Friday.

While the forecast for the holiday shopping season remains unclear as the economy struggles to recover from the coronavirus-induced recession, consumer surveys show that Americans will be shopping online more than ever.

About 7 in 10 consumers said they’ll primarily shop online during the holiday season, according to a survey by CreditCards.com, up from about half of consumers last year.

Another survey, from Accenture, found that 75% of shoppers said they’ll do at least some of their buying online, an increase from 65% last year.

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Political reverberations continue from violent Givat Ze’ev wedding

In response to the ultra-Orthodox wedding in Givat Ze’ev that was marred by clashes with police officers Wednesday night, haredi politicians on Thursday called for an investigation into the incident.Footage released by the police of body-camera videos seemed to show police being jostled. According to the bride’s family members, no one had attacked the police officers who arrived at the scene, and the wedding was held in compliance with COVID-19 regulations.The police released recordings of calls made by several Givat Ze’ev residents who complained about dozens of guests at the event. Videos of the wedding taken by neighbors showed a large number of people in attendance.According to the Israel Police, when police officers arrived at the scene in Givat Ze’ev, just north of Jerusalem, they were subjected to hostile treatment by the hosts, the bride’s mother and father. That led to a physical confrontation in which a brother of the bride was injured while being arrested.Images of him being led away with a bloody face and seemingly dazed, while other family members screamed and shouted, led to denunciations by haredi politicians.Hadar Kako, the police officer who first arrived on the scene, on Thursday told KAN Reshet Bet she was recording the incident on her cellphone when the bride’s mother became angry and grabbed it. When she tried to take it back, the mother shoved her away, she said.The bride’s father hit her on the hand to try and stop her from recording the incident, Kako said, adding that she then backed down and called for reinforcements. cnxps.cmd.push(function () { cnxps({ playerId: ’36af7c51-0caf-4741-9824-2c941fc6c17b’ }).render(‘4c4d856e0e6f4e3d808bbc1715e132f6’); });The family members have denied that anyone intentionally attacked the police officers, including the bride’s brother, who was arrested. He said the police used excessive force against him.“They strangled him and punched him when he was already handcuffed,” Mardi Pollack, another brother, told Channel 12.“At the beginning of the event, there were 16 people outside,” he said. “We have no idea how things got so out of control. A policewoman came in with her private cellphone into the house and without thinking twice called this an attack on a policeman, and within a few minutes a patrol car and a jeep full of border police turned up as if this was the house of a terrorist.”Video footage from the police and neighbors overlooking the home where the wedding was held show dozens of people present and dancing.“My mother apologized to the policewoman, but the other [police] forces were already there, and they had to come out with a victim,” Mardi Pollack said. “Why didn’t they summon her [his mother] for a hearing the next day in a respectful manner? Why did they have to destroy the wedding?”Construction and Housing Minister Ya’acov Litzman, chairman of United Torah Judaism, on Thursday met with Public Security Minister Amir Ohana to protest police actions at the wedding and in general during the coronavirus crisis, saying they have used excessive force against the haredi community.UTJ MK Yitzhak Pindrus condemned Ohana for