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Thanksgiving Weekend Spending Drops

Dec 1, 2021 8:33 AM   By Rapaport News
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Average consumer spending fell 3% over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend as many Americans had already completed much of their shopping, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Analytics.

US shoppers spent an average of $301 on holiday-related purchases between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, compared to $312 for the same period last year, the NRF said Tuesday. That figure is also well below 2019’s average outlay of $362.

“With a longer holiday shopping season, consumers have welcomed the flexibility it offers,” the NRF explained. “The vast majority of holiday shoppers reported they have already started shopping and have completed more than half of their holiday purchases on average.”

Some 179.8 million consumers shopped over the holiday weekend. While that figure beats the NRF’s initial expectations by more than 21 million, it is 3.5% lower than the 186.4 million Americans who shelled out money over the holiday weekend in 2020, the NRF noted.

The number of people who shopped in stores grew 14% year on year to 104.9 million, as consumers were eager to return to brick-and-mortar purchasing. Meanwhile, the number of those shopping online decreased 12% to 127.8 million. Black Friday was the most popular day for both in-store and e-commerce spending, the NRF said. On that day, 66.5 million consumers ventured to locations to purchase and 88 million bought online, compared with 77 million e-commerce shoppers on Cyber Monday.

“Over the last few years, Black Friday has emerged as a powerhouse day for both in-store and online shopping,” noted Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategy for Prosper Analytics. “Even though many consumers are starting their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, a considerable portion of their purchases are still made over the course of the five-day weekend.”

Clothing and accessories were the top gift choices over the holiday weekend, selected by 51% of respondents, while 32% bought toys, 28% snapped up gift cards and gift certificates, and 27% opted for books, music, movies or video games. Electronics were sought by 24% of those surveyed.

Total sales for the November-to-December holiday period will increase between 8.5% and 10.5% year on year, for a total of $843.4 billion to $859 billion, the NRF predicted.

The NRF surveyed 5,759 adult consumers and conducted the poll between November 24 to 29.

Image: A Black Friday sale at a mall. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: black friday, cyber monday, National Retail Federation, NRF, Phil Rist, Prosper Analytics, Rapaport News, US Holiday Weekend
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