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ICSC: How shoppers spent Thanksgiving holiday weekend

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Black Friday
An estimated 195.6 million people shopped over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend period.

Three-quarters of American adults shopped over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday shopping stretch. 

That's according to ICSC’s 2023 Post-Thanksgiving Weekend Surve, which found that discount department stores remained the most popular destination for shoppers during the weekend (50%), although the channel saw a big decrease from 61% in 2022. Dollar/variety stores (29%), apparel, footwear and accessory retailers (26%), electronics stores (25%), and health and beauty (24%) retailers saw a rise in popularity over the five-day stretch.

About 66% of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers – or 118.8 million people – spent money at a brick-and-mortar store, consistent with 2022 and up five percentage points from 2021.  Of those, 41% said in-store shopping is generally their preferred way to shop and make purchases, an increase from 34% in 2022.

The survey found that 75% of U.S. adults, or 195.6 million people, shopped over the five-day period beginning on Thanksgiving and ending Cyber Monday, compared to 78% in 2022. For 70% of shoppers, the holiday weekend remained just as important for shopping as in the past, despite ongoing inflationary pressures.

More than two-thirds (68%) of shoppers spent on gifts for others, while 43% spent on dining and 22% spent on entertainment and activities.

More than half of consumers  surveyed by ICSC (56%) said they shopped just as much or more than in the past, an increase of six percentage points from 2022. Despite shopping over Thanksgiving weekend, two-thirds of consumers say they still have a significant amount of holiday shopping to do.

“As consumers continue to hunt for the best deals and promotions, major shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday remain important despite discounts extending throughout the holiday season,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC. “Our Post-Thanksgiving Weekend Survey revealed that consumers turned out to shop both in-store and online. While economic factors may be changing some consumer behaviors, shoppers are still spending and retailers can expect to benefit from a strong holiday season.”

The report included two surveys conducted on Nov. 24, 2023, and Nov. 27, 2023, with a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,007 and 1,004, respectively.

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