NRF Releases Initial Thanksgiving Holiday Shopping Report
From phenomenal to lackluster, retailers recount differing experiences over the long Thanksgiving shopping weekend. That’s where the National Retail Federation steps in with big-picture stats and numbers that put everything in perspective.
“The five-day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday reflects the continued resilience of consumers and strength of the economy,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a report released this week in partnership with Prosper Insights & Analytics. “Shoppers exceeded our expectations with a robust turnout.”
A record 200.4 million consumers shopped over the five-day holiday weekend, surpassing last year’s record of 196.7 million and the NRF’s initial expectations of 182 million shoppers. Consumers utilized both online and in-store channels throughout the weekend, with 121.4 million people visiting physical retail locations. Online shoppers totaled 134.2 million, up from 130.2 million last year.
Black Friday continued its streak as the most popular day for in-store shopping, with 76.2 million shoppers opting to visit bricks-and-mortar locations. 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 percent of consumers 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, while 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. Forty-nine percent of those surveyed said they purchased clothing and accessories.
“Over the course of the weekend, consumers were able to find great deals on holiday gifts and other items they wanted,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. Retailers have continued to respond to earlier holiday demand with sales and promotions throughout the season, the report said.
NRF defines the holiday season as Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 and has forecast that holiday spending is expected to reach record levels and will grow between 3 and 4 percent, totaling between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion.