Retailers in the US - of both the online and bricks-and-mortar persuasion - appeared to have a very strong Thanksgiving weekend as the end-of-year holiday shopping season kicked off.

Some coverage:

Reuters reports that “Black Friday and Thanksgiving online sales in the United States surged to record highs as shoppers bagged deep discounts and bought more on their mobile devices, heralding a promising start to the key holiday season … U.S. retailers raked in a record $7.9 billion in online sales on Black Friday and Thanksgiving, up 17.9 percent from a year ago, according to Adobe Analytics.” The story goes on to say that “Adobe said Cyber Monday is expected to drive $6.6 billion in internet sales, which would make it the largest U.S. online shopping day in history.”

The story also notes that “marketing firm Criteo said 40 percent of Black Friday online purchases were made on mobile phones, up from 29 percent last year.”

CNBC reports that “department stores overall appear to have fared well on Black Friday, kicking off the holiday shopping season on a high note.

“Already on Thanksgiving Day, throngs of shoppers were spotted across the country outside of places such as J.C. Penney, Macy's and Kohl's, hoping to snag limited doorbusters and other deep discounts on home goods, kitchen accessories and apparel … GlobalData's preliminary tracking figures have already predicted total Black Friday sales to have risen the most since 2011.”

The story said that Macy’s, which has had its share of problems lately, “confirmed that more than 16,000 people were lined up outside the Herald Square store before it opened Thursday evening. By 7 a.m. Friday, Macy's had already sold 200,000 coats, and was on track to sell more than 1 million coats, sweaters and fleece jackets by the end of the weekend.” Some of this was attributed to cold weather in the northeastern US.

• At the same time, CNN reports, “Early estimates from ShopperTrak, a data analytics company that measures the number of shoppers at stores, said foot traffic "decreased less than one percent when compared to Black Friday 2016.

"A meager dip is good news for traditional retailers. As online-savvy businesses continue to gobble up more and more of the market share, companies like Macy's, JCPenney, Gap and Sears have suffered.”

USA Today reports that “online sales were pushed by consumers' growing use of mobile devices for purchases: online retail giant Amazon said that purchases made via its mobile app were 50% higher on Thanksgiving than the number placed on smartphones and tablets on the same day last year.”

• At at least one major department store, anticipation of high consumer traffic is high - which is why Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street in New York City is now requiring appointments for people to sit on Santa Claus’s lap.

According to the Associated Press, “Eager families can go online to sign up for a time slot from 30 minutes to five days in advance. No walk-ins are allowed. Admission is free to Santaland Herald Square and runs from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve.”

Official National Retail Federation (NRF) numbers will be released later this week.

KC's View: The positive way to look at this is that retailers (more of them, at least) actually are getting their acts together, understanding that they have to meet consumers where they live, create more compelling stores combined with better, more intuitive websites, and offer the right kind of financial incentives.

There’s a long way to go. We have a holiday shopping season this year that is a week longer than normal, and there remains a lot of economic and geopolitical plates spinning that could fall at any moment. But for the moment, at least, the sky isn’t falling.

Except at Macy’s Herald Square. Somewhere, Edmund Gwenn is spinning in his grave. (Or would be, if he hadn’t been cremated in 1959.)