Welcome to The Week in Retail, a weekly round-up for marketers from Quad Insights that covers the latest must-know news surrounding the retail space.

Consumers spend a record $38 billion during Cyber Week

Retail sales during Cyber Week (the five days from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday) topped $38 billion this year, which, as Reuters’ Deborah Mary Sophia reports, was driven in large part by steep discounts. This represents a 7.8% increase over last year’s Cyber Week sales, according to Adobe Analytics data, exceeding projections of 5.4%.

Consumers spent a record $12.4 billion on Cyber Monday alone, CNBC’s Annie Palmer reports, exceeding projections of $12 billion in sales and representing a 9.6% increase over last year, according to the Adobe report. Palmer notes that one of the biggest winners during Cyber Week was Amazon, which saw record-breaking Cyber Monday sales — marking the online retailer’s “biggest ever” holiday shopping event.

Black Friday sales across retailers, however, saw less of a jump. The Mastercard SpendingPulse survey, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment, reported a 2.5% increase in Black Friday sales year-over-year, per Reuters.

Walmart to release first-of-its-kind shoppable romcom

Walmart announced on Tuesday the launch of a new holiday-themed romcom (romantic comedy) shoppable commercial series, which follows New York designer Jessica as she returns home for the holidays and rekindles a relationship with an old love interest, according to a company statement. Titled “Add to Heart,” the 23-part series is designed to provide a seamless holiday shopping experience and will feature more than 325 products across categories that viewers can purchase while watching.

The series — which will be released on Dec. 2, 5 and 8 on TikTok, Roku, YouTube and on Walmart’s social media channels — comes as more Americans are indicating their interest in purchasing products via social media, according to Walmart’s statement. As Inc.’s Rebecca Deczynski notes, “By shortening the product placement-to-checkout pipeline, Walmart may unlock the key to making social commerce work — and that could lead to helpful insights for companies of all sizes.”

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Kohl’s gets personal this holiday season with interactive experiences, activations

Kohl’s is delivering personalized, interactive experiences this holiday season using AI and AR technology. Using the retailer’s Storybook Magic platform, people can share details about themselves or a gift recipient, which a “gift generator” will use to create “a customized story catered to the recipients’ personality” and that offers gift suggestions, per a Kohl’s statement. The AR component includes a cross-platform “Kohl’s or Coal” AR lens on Snapchat, TikTok and Meta that provides gifting recommendations as users walk through “pairing gifts with their loved ones and ultimately deciding whether they will receive a Kohl’s gift or coal,” according to Kohl’s.

Also part of its holiday push, the retailer is bringing back influencer storefronts on its website — personalized pages where influencers can share some of their favorite items available at Kohl’s — as well as Kohl’s Holiday Livestreams showcasing holiday favorites from the retailer. The latter will be featured on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, with items curated by Kohl’s associates, influencers and Sephora beauty consultants.

IKEA launches first-ever Plan and Order Point store format in Texas

On Wednesday, IKEA opened a new location — what it calls a “Plan and Order Point” store — in Southlake, Texas. The first store format of its kind for the Swedish furniture maker and its third in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the location offers a space where shoppers can meet with IKEA experts to help plan and order home furnishings. Customers can also pick up merchandise ordered in person or online.

The 10,800-square-foot space is designed to be more convenient and accessible for area customers, per an IKEA statement. According to Retail TouchPoint’s Adam Blair, the Southlake store is part of a plan announced in April by IKEA to “invest more than $2.2 billion to enhance U.S. omnichannel operations,” which includes opening eight additional Plan and Order Point locations.

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