An estimated 182 million people, 15.7 million more than last year, are planning to shop in-store and online on Thanksgiving weekend this year, according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. It is the highest amount of shoppers since the NRF started collecting data in 2017.
“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,” says Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO. “Retailers have been preparing for months for this occasion. They are stocked and ready to help customers find the gifts and other items they want at great prices during the entire holiday season.”
According to the survey, three-quarters of holiday shoppers plan to shop during the five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend this year, up 69% since 2019.
The top reasons consumers plan to shop this year are because the deals are too good to pass up and because of tradition.
Black Friday continues to be the most popular day to shop, with 72% planning to shop, followed by Cyber Monday, attracting 39% of those planning to shop over the weekend.
Similar to the past few years, 59% of holiday shoppers have started browsing and buying for the holiday season as they work to get a head start on their shopping.
Gifts are the purchases shoppers are most likely to have made so far. Nearly half of holiday shoppers have purchased gifts already this holiday season. Another 18% say they’ve purchased decorations and 17% say they’ve purchased gifts for themselves.
“Early shopping is a trend we have been tracking for several years, and this year, there is evidence the deals and promotions from October resonated with consumers,” says Phil Rist, Prosper Insights & Analytics executive vice president of strategy. “More than 40% of shoppers say they took advantage of retailers’ October sales to shop specifically for holiday gifts, décor and other seasonal items.”
Earlier this month, the NRF predicted an increase in holiday spending of 3% to 4% over 2022 to between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion.