Mexico City/New York: Will this year’s Black Friday finally spark a sustained retail comeback?

While the answer remains to be seen, the sellers of outerwear and gadgets such as Apple AirPods and the Sony Playstation VR have reason to be encouraged.

Those were some of the hottest sellers so far during the Black Friday weekend, the traditional kickoff to the holiday season. In the toy category, L.O.L. Surprise, Hatchimals and Colleggtibles led the way, according to a report from Adobe Systems Inc. A survey from Deloitte & Touche, meanwhile, showed that shoppers were purchasing apparel, gift cards and electronics.

At a Kohl’s Corp. store in Freehold, New Jersey, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Poonam Goyal saw high demand for Nest and Ring smart-home devices, with those products completely selling out by Friday morning.

Other trends spotted by Black Friday observers include:

With consumer confidence high and unemployment near record lows, retailers are keen to prove that brick-and-mortar stores maintain their appeal— even as e-commerce steadily grows.

After a grim year in which broad swaths of the retail industry dealt with declining sales and consumer interest, a number of companies seem to have regained some momentum in the lead-up to the crucial holiday season.

Tracy Ferschweiler, a manager who oversees seven stores for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in New York and New Jersey, said electronics were the main draw. But in addition to high-priced TVs, shoppers were snatching up cheaper goods such as Roku players and phone accessories.

“They get overlooked," Ferschweiler said in a phone interview. “But they’re important gifts." Bloomberg