Black Friday is back as record number of Americans are expected to go shopping
Americans may have started their Christmas shopping in July or October or some other point before this week, but research indicates that a record number of the nation’s citizens still plan to go hunting for gifts between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday.
An estimated 166.3 million people, eight million more than last year, are planning to shop over the four-day span. The number, if it proves accurate, will represent a record high, according to research from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
“While there is much speculation about inflation’s impact on consumer behavior, our data tells us that this Thanksgiving holiday weekend will see robust store traffic with a record number of shoppers taking advantage of value pricing,” Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF, said in a statement. “We are optimistic that retail sales will remain strong in the weeks ahead, and retailers are ready to meet consumers however they want to shop with great products at prices they want to pay.”
NRF expects inflation-abetted sales for November and December to grow between six and eight percent over 2021, which itself was a record breaker with $889.3 billion in industry revenues.
Black Friday may continue to be the most popular day for shopping in the U.S., with 69 percent of the survey respondents saying they planned to shop. Sixty-seven percent of those planning to shop on Black Friday will head to stores, up from 64 percent last year.
Cyber Monday is expected to be the second most popular shopping day, with 38 percent saying they would be looking for deals to buy.
While record numbers of consumers may go shopping, it’s unclear how much actual buying will take place. Eighteen percent of shoppers have completed at least half of their holiday shopping, roughly the same percentage as last year.
Forty-three percent of shoppers plan to use online search to figure out what gifts to buy this year. Other sources of inspiration include friends and family (35 percent) and purchases sparked by something they see in a store (31 percent).
Clothes and gift cards remain the two most popular forms of gifts this year, according to the research. Fifty-five percent plan to give clothing and 45 percent expect to give gift cards. Toys (37 percent), books/music/movies/video (33 percent) and food/candy (31 percent) round out the top five.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are you surprised that so many people are expected to go shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend given all the early sales run by retailers this year? How will sales stack up for the four days versus 2021?