Times Union, December 3, 2020 — Merchants told us to shop early. Health officials told us to stay home.

The result? An avalanche of online purchases that is burying parcel delivery trucks and postal carriers.

“More than half of holiday shoppers took advantage” of the early promotions, said Melissa O’Connor, president and CEO of the Retail Council of New York State.

The number of consumers shopping online only during Black Friday weekend surged 44 percent, according to the National Retail Federation, to 95.7 million.

The state Retail Council this year established an online shopping portal for smaller merchants who otherwise might not have an online presence. So far, the retailnewyork.com website has more than 550 participating retailers, said O’Connor.

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