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Online and in-store shopping numbers almost balance during Thanksgiving weekend

Published 30 November 2015

Nearly 102 million people in the US shopped in stores over the Thanksgiving weekend, while more than 103 million shopped online, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF).

holiday shopping

According to the Thanksgiving Weekend Survey of NRF, more than 151 million shopped either at stores or made online purchases at home, more than what was predicted by an earlier survey.

The average spending per person over the weekend was $299.60. An average of $229.56 was found to have been specifically spent on gifts, which makes up 76.6% of total purchases.

The purchases were also age group specific with shoopers in the 25-34 year group spending an average of $425.08, 69.3% or $294.44 of it going toward gift purchases.

NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said: "We recognize the Thanksgiving weekend shopping experience is much different than it used to be as just as many people want that unique, exclusive online deal as they do that in-store promotion.

"It is clear that the age-old holiday tradition of heading out to stores with family and friends is now equally matched in the new tradition of looking online for holiday savings opportunities.

"Retail is in the middle of an incredible revolution and evolution. As a result, NRF evolved what we have traditionally done in terms of examining the holiday weekend shopper to reflect these changing times. As the shopping environment changes so too must our analysis of it."

Nearly 74.2 million people ventured out to shop on Black Friday and 34.6 million shopped on Thanksgiving Day, while 46.8 million made purchases on Saturday.

Among online shoppers, the survey found that 40 million people or 39.8% shopped on Thanksgiving Day and 75.3 million or 7.1% on Black Friday.

While more than half of store shoppers said that they made purchases at department stores, 37.2% shopped at discount stores. Nearly 32.4% shopped at clothing stores and 35.1% at electronic stores.

Smartphones and tablet devices served as an important for shopping with 56.7% of smartphone owners using them to look for products, research on them and purchase the holiday products, check in-store availability, and other mobile shopping related activities. Tablet owners indulged in browsing for holiday deals and purchase items.

According to the survey, 121 million plan to shop online on Cyber Monday, down slightly from the 126.9 million last year.

NRF senior vice-president and Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell said: "Retailers are prepared for a mobile-driven day of shopping and have optimized the mobile shopping experience to make Cyber Monday shopping easier and more dynamic for their customers. In addition to a more fluid experience on retailers' websites and on mobile, consumers can expect to see free shipping offers and better-than-ever programs for buy online and pick-up in store for those omnichannel shoppers."

The survey shows that 42.2% of customers plan to shop online in the early morning of Cyber Monday, while 33% intended to shop later in the morning. More than a quarter said they would wait until early afternoon to indulge in shopping.

Image: Caption: Holiday shoppers indulge in weekend deals. Photo: courtesy of Pong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.