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Retailers Prepare for 165M Thanksgiving Weekend Shoppers

New research from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics projects as many as 165.3 million people will shop during the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday weekend, traditionally one of the busiest retail periods each year.

“The traditional Thanksgiving weekend holiday shopping has become a five-day event with consumers spending money in stores, supporting local small businesses, and online with their mobile devices and computers,” says NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.

NRF estimates nearly 40 million consumers will shop on Thanksgiving Day, and 114.6 million shoppers will take part in Black Friday sales. Small business Saturday is expected to draw nearly 67 million shoppers across the U.S., and Cyber Monday is expected to draw more than 68 million shoppers online.

Shay says younger consumers are more likely to shop over the holiday weekend. Nearly 90 percent of shoppers between the ages of 18 and 24 say they are likely to shop over the holiday weekend.

Among shoppers who plan on taking part in Thanksgiving holiday sales, 47 percent say they plan to start their shopping in stores, and 41 percent plan to start their purchases online.

Top Reasons Consumers Shop Over Thanksgiving

The data reveals interesting motivators for Thanksgiving holiday shoppers.

  • 65 percent say: The deals are too good to pass up.
  • 28 percent say: Holiday shopping is a tradition.
  • 22 percent say: Thanksgiving is when they start their holiday shopping.
  • 17 percent say: Shopping is a group activity with friends and family.

Overall, NRF anticipates holiday spending to rise by 4 percent over 2018 levels.

About Todd Taber

Todd is trends editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. He graduated from Indiana University where he majored in journalism and French. Throughout his career, he has aimed to highlight small businesses and their community value. He joined NRHA in 2017.

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