An estimated 182 million U.S. consumers plan to shop in-store and online from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday this year, according to the annual survey analysis released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. This figure is 15.7 million more consumers than last year and is the highest estimate since the NRF started tracking the 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,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “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 NRF survey, nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of holiday shoppers will shop this year during the five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend, up from 69 percent pre-pandemic in 2019. The top reasons consumers plan to shop during this period are because the deals are too good to pass up (61 percent) and because of tradition (28 percent).
Black Friday continues to be the most popular day to shop, with 72 percent (130.7 million) planning to shop, up from 69 percent in 2022. Cyber Monday is the second most popular day, attracting 39 percent (71.1 million) of those planning to shop over the weekend, on par with 38 percent last year.
Similar to the past few years, as of early November, 59 percent of holiday shoppers started browsing and buying to get a head start on their shopping. On average, holiday shoppers completed one-quarter (25 percent) of their planned purchases.
Gifts are the purchases shoppers are most likely to have made so far. Nearly half (48 percent) have purchased gifts for the holidays. Another 18 percent said they purchased decorations, and 17 percent said they 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,” Prosper Insights & Analytics Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “More than 40 percent of shoppers say they took advantage of retailers’ October sales to shop specifically for holiday gifts, décor and other seasonal items.”
Even with early shopping, the five-day shopping event that begins on Thanksgiving Day and continues through the following Monday will be some of the year’s busiest shopping days.
The NRF forecasted earlier this month that holiday spending is expected to reach record levels during November and December and will grow between 3 percent and 4 percent, totaling $957.3 billion to $966.6 billion. By comparison, last year’s holiday sales totaled $929.5 billion. This year’s holiday spending is consistent with the average annual holiday increase of 3.6 percent from 2010 to 2019.
The survey conducted in early November asked 8,424 adult consumers about their holiday shopping plans.