Was the high-traffic Thanksgiving weekend a promise of things to come?
A record number of consumers in search of deals on holiday gifts went shopping in stores and online over the Thanksgiving Day weekend, according to the results of a new survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
Seventy-six percent of consumers said they shopped over the past weekend, up from 70 percent in 2021. The actual numbers of those making purchases exceeded NRF’s initial forecast by more than 30 million people.
Stores saw the greatest bump in traffic, welcoming more than 122.7 million shoppers over the weekend, up 17 percent from last year when many stayed home due to COVID-19 concerns. More than 130 million people shopped online, up two percent from last year’s total.
The number of people shopping in stores on Black Friday took a big jump. Nearly 73 million chose to do their shopping in-person, up from 66.5 million a year ago.
Small Business Saturday also brought shoppers to stores with 77 percent saying they shopped to support local merchants. A total of 63.4 million shopped in stores, up from 51 million.
Americans shopping over the weekend listed online and department stores as their top destinations (42 percent), followed by grocery stores and supermarkets (40 percent), clothing and accessories stores (36 percent) and discount stores (32 percent).
Thanksgiving weekend shoppers spent an average of $325.44, up from $301.27 in 2021. Most of the purchases ($229.21) were tied to holiday gifts.
“As inflationary pressures persist, consumers have responded by stretching their dollars in any way possible,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF. “Retailers have responded accordingly, offering shoppers a season of buying convenience, matching sales and promotions across online and in-store channels to accommodate their customers at each interaction.”
“It is important to note that while some may claim that retail sales gains are the result of higher prices, they must acknowledge the historic growth in consumers who are shopping in-store and online during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend and into Cyber Monday,” he said. “It is consumer demand that is driving growth.”
New research from Mastercard SpendingPulse found that spending increased 10.9 percent in retail stores and online, excluding autos, from Thursday to Sunday. Restaurants (23.3 percent) and apparel (14.4 percent) were the biggest growth drivers.
- Record 196.7 Million Consumers Shop Over Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend – National Retail Federation
- Mastercard SpendingPulse: U.S. Thanksgiving weekend retail insights – Mastercard
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What are your takeaways from the Thanksgiving weekend results? Will the 2022 holiday season, in the end, be distinctly different than in past years or will it largely conform to traditional patterns?