With the election behind them, consumers are eager to see the deals retailers will offer for the biggest shopping weekend of the year, with 59% of Americans – an estimated 137.4 million people – planning to or considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. The numbers, which cover Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday plus Sunday, include both in-store and online shopping and are up from 58.7% or 135.8 million people last year.
“Black Friday remains one of the busiest shopping days of the year, with Americans planning to take advantage of aggressive in-store and digital promotions over the entire holiday weekend,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers know consumers are spreading out their holiday budgets to shop throughout the season. While there’s no doubt of the incredible promotions offered during the weekend, the holiday shopping season is long and consumers will look for and expect great deals down to the very last minute.”
The survey found that 21% of weekend shoppers plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day, nearly the same as last year’s 22%. But Black Friday will remain the busiest day of the holiday weekend with 74% planning to shop that day, the same as in 2015. A substantial 47% are expected to shop on Saturday; of those shoppers, 24% say they will be doing so specifically to support Small Business Saturday, up from 22% last year. On Sunday, 24 percent expect to shop.
According to the survey, 77% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 76% of 25 to 34-year-olds plan to shop over the weekend. As with shoppers overall, Black Friday is the day most millennial weekend shoppers plan to shop – 86% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 78% of 25 to 34-year-olds.
“Millennials continue to drive the trend of hitting the stores – both on their feet and online – as soon as the turkey is finished,” Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “Whether they’re hoping to find gifts for themselves or for the folks on their lists, they will do their research to find the best deals of the weekend and have allotted a large part of their holiday budget for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday spending.”
“For many millennials, every Thanksgiving weekend they can remember has involved hopping online to find the best deals,” Goodfellow said. “For this group, it’s more than just a weekend of good deals, it’s a holiday tradition.”
While not included in the 137.4 million total for the Thanksgiving weekend, 36% of consumers say they plan to shop online on Cyber Monday, up from the 34% in 2015.