NRF: Black Friday had most holiday weekend traffic — online and in-store

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
man and woman holiday shopping
A record 200.4 million consumers shopped over the holiday weekend.

A record number of people shopped over the five-day holiday weekend as Black Friday continued its streak as the most popular shopping day of the entire weekend. 

The day after Thanksgiving saw 76.2 million shoppers visit brick-and-mortar stores, up from 72.9 million in 2022, according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Black Friday was also the most popular day for online shopping, with 90.6 million consumers shopping, up from 87.2 million in 2022. By comparison, about 73 million consumers shopped online on Cyber Monday, down from 77 million last year, the NRF said.  

A record 200.4 million consumers shopped over the holiday weekend from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, surpassing last year’s record of 196.7 million. The turnout was also the highest since NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics began tracking total in-store and online traffic in 2017. 

Consumers utilized both online and in-store channels over the holiday weekend, with 121.4 million people visiting physical retail locations, flat with 122.7 million in 2022. Online shoppers totaled 134.2 million, up from 130.2 million last year. 

The top destinations for shoppers were online (44%), grocery stores and supermarkets (42%), department stores (40%), clothing and accessories stores (36%) and electronics stores (29%).

The top gifts shoppers purchased during the five-day period were clothing and accessories (bought by 49% of those surveyed), toys (31%), gift cards (25%), books, video games and other media (23%), and personal care or beauty items (23%).

“This year is the first time personal care and beauty items were among the top five most popular gifts, purchased over Thanksgiving weekend, with nearly one-quarter of shoppers purchasing these items,” said Prosper executive VP of strategy Phil Rist.

Other findings from the survey include:

•About 59 million consumers shopped in stores on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, down from 63.4 million last year. On par with last year, 78% of Saturday shoppers shopped specifically for Small Business Saturday.   

•Consistent with last year, about 44 million consumers used their home desktop or laptop to shop online on Cyber Monday. Another 40.5 million shopped online using their mobile devices, down from a record 45.7 million in 2022 but still well above pre-pandemic levels.  

•The vast majority (95%) of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers made holiday-related purchases during the event, down from 97% last year, but in line with historical levels. Consumers spent $321.41 on average, consistent with $325.44 last year. Approximately 70% ($226.55) was spent specifically on gifts.

•On average, consumers said 55% of Thanksgiving weekend purchases were specifically driven by sales and promotions, up from 52% in 2022.  Another 31% said a limited-time sale or promotion convinced them to make a purchase they were hesitant about, up from 29% last year.  

•A little over half of consumers (55%) took advantage of early holiday sales and promotions. About one-third (35%) shopped specifically in the week leading up to Thanksgiving (Nov. 16-22).  

•Similar to last year, as of Thanksgiving weekend, the majority (85%) of consumers had started holiday shopping and were about halfway (48%) done so far. 

NRF, which defines the holiday season as Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, has forecast that holiday spending is expected to reach record levels and will grow between 3% and 4%, totaling $957.3 billion to $966.6 billion. 

The survey of 3,498 adult consumers was conducted Nov. 22-26.

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