Approximately 182 million US consumers plan to make holiday purchases over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend, a year-on-year rise of nearly 16 million people.
The increase, reported as part of a survey the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights and Analytics conducted, is the highest estimate since the NRF began tracking the data in 2017, it said last week. Three-quarters of respondents intended to shop during the period, with 61% of those indicating the deals were too good to pass up. Just over a quarter of the sample noted it was tradition to purchase over the holiday.
“The Thanksgiving holiday weekend marks some of the busiest shopping days of the year, as consumers enjoy the tradition of shopping for the perfect gifts for friends and loved ones,” explained NRF CEO Matthew Shay. “Retailers have been preparing for months for this occasion.”
Black Friday will be the most popular shopping day during the period, with 72%, or 130.7 million people, planning to buy then, up from 69% a year ago. Some 39%, or 71.1 million consumers, will purchase on Cyber Monday.
Many shoppers have already taken advantage of early sales and special discounts. As of early November, 59% of holiday shoppers had ventured out to get a head start, and they had completed approximately one-quarter of their purchases for the season.
“This year, there is evidence the deals and promotions from October resonated with consumers,” noted Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategy at Prosper. “More than 40% of shoppers say they took advantage of retailers’ October sales to shop specifically for holiday gifts, décor and other seasonal items.”
Total holiday sales for the November-to-December period will grow 3% to 4% year on year to between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion, the NRF forecast. The NRF surveyed 8,424 adult consumers from November 1 to 6.
Main image: A person holding holiday gifts. (Shutterstock)