Retailers should expect a historic holiday shopping turnout over Thanksgiving weekend, The National Retail Federation says.
NRF predicts about 182 million people will participate in the shopping holiday between Thanksgiving on Nov. 23 and Cyber Monday on Nov. 27. That’s 15.7 million more people than participated last year, and the highest estimate since NRF started tracking 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,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “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.”
Daily shopping projections over Thanksgiving weekend
Black Friday is poised to be the most popular shopping day, according to NRF. 130.7 million people, about 72% of consumers, plan to shop on the day after Thanksgiving. That’s up slightly from 62% in 2022.
Each day of the Cyber 5 period is projected to see at least 30 million holiday shoppers. Thanksgiving will likely have the fewest shoppers before the surge on Black Friday.
Cyber Monday will also be a popular shopping date, although less so than Black Friday. 71.1 million consumers plan to shop the ecommerce holiday.
NRF’s projection is based on a survey of 8,424 U.S. adults between Nov. 1 and 6.
Holiday shopping already started
The majority of surveyed consumers say their shopping is already underway. 59% said they’d started browsing and making purchases as of the beginning of November. Shoppers completed an average of 25% of planned purchases by November.
“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,” said Prosper Insights & Analytics Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist. More than 40% of shoppers say they took advantage of retailers’ October sales to shop specifically for holiday gifts, décor and other seasonal items.”
Amazon, Walmart, Costco and other retailers held major sales in October. These sales pulled forward some holiday spending that would traditionally take place later in the year, Kasi Socha, analyst at retail data research company Gartner, previously told Digital Commerce 360. They contributed to the 10.4% growth in nonstore sales in October.
Total sales projections
NRF projects total holiday spending across November and December to grow 3% to 4% over 2022 levels. Those sales are expected to come in between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion, compared to $929.5 billion in 2022.
The organization also predicts online shopping in the period to grow 7% to 9% to between $273.7 billion and $278.8 billion. That will be an increase from $255.8 billion last year.
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