Consumers may have already started their holiday shopping, but that’s not going to deter them from turning out in force over Thanksgiving weekend.
Nearly 2 million more people than last year are expected to shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday this year, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Among those shopping on Thanksgiving Day, 65% are likely to do so in stores, up from 50% last year. On Black Friday, 64% are likely to shop in stores, up from 51% last year.
The study found that 66% of holiday shoppers surveyed in early November plan to shop Thanksgiving weekend this year. That amounts to an estimated 158.3 million people, up from 156.6 million last year but still below the 165.3 million in pre-pandemic 2019.
In addition, 30.6 million plan to shop either in-store or online on Thanksgiving Day, 108 million on Black Friday, 58.1 million on Small Business Saturday, 31.2 million on Sunday and 62.8 million on Cyber Monday. (The total of the daily numbers exceeds the overall figure because some consumers will shop multiple days.)
For those shopping during the weekend, deals that are “too good to pass up” remain the top reason, cited by 58%, but tradition continued to come in second at 28%.
• While Thanksgiving weekend will be busy, 61% of those surveyed had already begun their holiday shopping, about the same as last year’s 59% but up from 5% a decade ago in 2011. The survey found 46% started earlier this year than they typically do.
• While the bulk of shopping may be yet to come, consumers had completed 28% of their holiday shopping by early November.
• As to what consumers plan to buy, clothing continued to top the list, expected to be given by 53% of shoppers, followed by gift cards at 46%, toys at 39%, books/music/movies/video games at 35% and food/candy at 31% as the top five categories.
• Shoppers plan to buy an average three or four cards this year with an average $48.92 per card, including restaurant cards (cited by 32%), department store cards (26%), bank-issued gift cards (also 26%) and coffee shop cards (20%).
[Read More: Gift cards poised for big holiday season amid inventory, shipping concerns]