Kohl's hits record sales day online on Thanksgiving, selling 60 Instant Pots per minute

  • Kohl's CEO Michelle Gass tells CNBC the company was selling 60 Instant Pots online per minute on Thanksgiving.
  • The retailer hit a record day of e-commerce sales ahead of Cyber Monday.
A Kohl's store in Jersey City, NJ.
Nicole O'Hara | CNBC
A Kohl's store in Jersey City, NJ.

Kohl's says it had a record day of sales online this Thanksgiving, as the retailer kicked off many of its Black Friday deals on its website at midnight that morning.

"We were thrilled with the customer response," CEO Michelle Gass told CNBC. She said 80 percent of traffic online came from mobile devices, while Kohl's also saw a record number of shoppers select its option to buy online, pick up in store. The kickoff to Black Friday now, according to Gass, "really begins online."

Other retailers such as Target and Walmart are alsoreporting a strong showing of shoppers online this Turkey Day. The momentum could ultimately be taking away from Black Friday, with some people saying there were fewer lines at malls and outside stores Friday morning.

Sales online Thanksgiving Day totaled $3.7 billion, up 28 percent from a year ago, Adobe Analytics said in a report. That makes Thursday the fastest-growing day for e-commerce sales in history, added the firm, which tracks transactions from 80 of the top 100 internet retailers. Thursday was also the first day in 2018 to see $1 billion in sales from smartphones, according to Adobe, with shoppers spending 8 percent more online on Thursday compared with a year ago.

Back at Kohl's, Gass said the company was selling 60 Instant Pots per minute online Thursday, along with 40 Fitbit devices per minute. She said cozy items like a "tranquility blanket" were popular, in addition to athletic apparel.

"We are bullish on the holiday season," Gass said. "We have most of the season ahead of us, but I think the team has created a strong plan," she added, and expects to continue to benefit from store closures by other retailers such as Sears and Bon-Ton.