Millennials drive increase in shopping.
Strong deals and promotions encouraged more consumers to shop over the holiday weekend.
More than 154 million consumers shopped over Thanksgiving weekend, up from 151 million shoppers in 2015, according to the annual Thanksgiving weekend results survey released Nov. 27 by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
Average spending per person over Thanksgiving weekend totaled $289.19, down slightly from $299.60 last year. With an average of $214.13 specifically going toward gifts or 74% of total purchases.
“It was a strong weekend for retailers, but an even better weekend for consumers, who took advantage of some really incredible deals,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “In fact, over one third of shoppers said 100% of their purchases were on sale.”
When it comes to where consumers shopped over the weekend, the survey found that 44% went online and 40% shopped in-store. The most popular day to shop online was Black Friday, up 1.3% from last year to 74%, followed by Saturday (49%), Thanksgiving (36%), and Sunday (34%). And, of those that shopped in store, 75% shopped on Black Friday, up 3.4% from last year, 40% on Saturday, 35% on Thanksgiving and 17% on Sunday.
As far as when people showed up in-store on Thursday and Friday, the survey found nearly three in 10 shoppers (29%) headed out after 10 a.m. on Black Friday, up from 24% last year. Less than 15% of consumers arrived to the stores by 6 a.m. or earlier on Black Friday. Early Thanksgiving Day in-store shopping dropped by 19% with only 7% of consumers heading to stores before 5 p.m. – while shopping that day itself was up 1%.
The survey also found that only 9% of consumers have finished their holiday shopping, down 2% from last year. While 23% have yet to make any dents to their lists, up 4% from last year.
“With mid-season shopping behind us, it’s not too late for retailers to tweak their online and in-store strategies to help increase traffic and see a big payoff during the last few weeks of the holiday season,” Shay said.
Millennials (ages 18 – 34) continue to drive the increase in shopping during Thanksgiving Weekend. Eight in 10 shopped over the weekend, of which 25-34-year olds shopped the most in store (56%) and online (62%).
“Millennials are keeping retailers on their toes when it comes to Thanksgiving weekend shopping not just for their friends and family, but also themselves,” Prosper’s Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “However, Millennials are not the only ones taking advantage of great promotions, today’s consumers, across ages, are savvy about when and where they shop.”
It is clear weekend shoppers were in the mood to find great deals. Fifty percent of consumers that shopped in store indicated that the deals were too good to pass up. While another 32% of consumers shopped in store to continue their family Thanksgiving/Black Friday traditions.
The survey found that of those that shopped in store, 51% shopped at department stores, 34% at discount stores, 32% at electronics stores, 28% at clothing or accessories stores and 25% at grocery/supermarket stores.
Some of the most popular gifts purchased over the weekend included clothing or clothing accessories (50%), toys (32%), electronics (30%), books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games (28%), and gift cards (20%).
According to the survey, 56% of smartphone owners and 53% of tablet owners used their devices to assist with weekend shopping activities.
The survey, which asked 4,330 consumers about Thanksgiving weekend shopping plans, was conducted Nov. 25-26 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.5 percentage points.