Black Friday shopping won't be as intense as in the past, says an IHS Global Insight economist.

That's because some large retail stores are opening on Thanksgiving day, and some even began offering deep discounts in early November. But more importantly, people are shopping online.

"More consumers are staying at home and doing a majority of their shopping online," said Chris Christopher, director of consumer economics at IHS Global Insight. "We expect e-commerce retail sales to be 8.5 percent of retail trade in the fourth quarter, after clocking in a record-breaking 8.4 percent in the third quarter."

Christopher calls it clicks over bricks. It's been an increasing trend over the past several years, he said.

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