Consumer spending, Economy

Thanksgiving Day shopping increases 27 percent from 2012

Crowd Shopping SaleA recent survey showed that Thanksgiving Day retail traffic rose 27 percent, with nearly 45 million shoppers—or 31.8 percent of holiday shoppers—taking advantage of holiday sales.

The survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics for the National Retail Federation, showed that more than 141 million people already had or planned to shop by the end of the weekend—compared to 139 million in 2012.

Black Friday saw the most traffic, with more than 92 million consumers shopping for holiday gifts and deals, compared to approximately 89 million last year. On average, shoppers planned to spend $407.02 from Thursday through Sunday, slightly less than last year’s $423.55 last year.

“Cold weather, unique promotions and unbeatable prices put millions of Americans in the mood to shop for holiday gifts this weekend,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers’ late night and early morning promotions struck just the right chord for those hoping to kick off the holiday shopping season with friends and family. With only a few weeks until the big day, retailers will continue to aggressively promote their in-store and online offerings, looking to entice today’s very budget-conscious and value-focused shopper.”

More than 75 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds, the most of any age group, shopped or planned to shop over the weekend, with Black Friday listed as the most popular day. One-quarter of all shoppers said they arrived at stores by 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, and nearly 40 percent were at stores by midnight—up from 28 percent last year.

Holiday shopping was not limited to stores—more than 40 percent of shoppers said they shopped online over the weekend, with the average consumer spending $177.67—or 43.7 percent of their total weekend spending.

“Online shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend continues to be more popular as retailers tout special holiday savings through their mobile apps and websites,” Pam Goodfellow, the director of Prospect Insights & Analytics, said. “With limited budgets this year, holiday shoppers will continue to make very thoughtful decisions about when and where they shop the remainder of the season, making sure to compare prices and keep up with retailers’ advertisements for special sales.”

A majority of shoppers—approximately 50 percent—sought sale information in advertising circulars, and one-third searched online to find the best deals. Approximately 16 percent of shoppers reviewed retailers’ Facebook accounts for sale information, and more than one-third saved sale emails from retailers.

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