Mixed Thanksgiving shopping trends


ChartTwo million more unique shoppers were active during the long Thanksgiving holiday, according to stats from Proseper Insights and Analytics and the National Retail Federation. And there was a big increase in shoppers on Thanksgiving Day. However, total spending was down.

NRF said that 141M citizens were in the market during the holiday, up from 139M. It added that taking into account shoppers who were active multiple times, 248M transactions took place, up from 247M – as NRF put it, this number included all those who “waited in line, took advantage of big discounts offered throughout the mall and shopped on retailers websites.”

On the actual Thursday holiday day, 45M shoppers were active, up 27% from Thanksgiving Day 2012.

Total weekend spending worked out to $407.02 per shopper, down from $423.55 and on route to an anticipated total of $57.4B. 40.7% of the total, or $177.67, was spent online, up 40.7% from a year ago.

In all, total spending decreased 3%.

Black Friday was a success, with 92M shoppers, up 3M from the same day a year earlier.

“Cold weather, unique promotions and unbeatable prices put millions of Americans in the mood to shop for holiday gifts this weekend,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Retailers’ late night and early morning promotions struck just the right chord for those hoping to kick off the holiday shopping season with friends and family. With only a few weeks until the big day, retailers will continue to aggressively promote their in-store and online offerings, looking to entice today’s very budget-conscious and value-focused shopper.”

However, noted Shay, the reduction in spending was an indication that many consumers are still facing challenges.

Added Prosper’s Pam Goodfellow, “Online shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend continues to be more popular as retailers tout special holiday savings through their mobile apps and websites. With limited budgets this year, holiday shoppers will continue to make very thoughtful decisions about when and where they shop the remainder of the season, making sure to compare prices and keep up with retailers’ advertisements for special sales.”

NRF/Prosper provided color on the shopping activity: “Clothes, electronics, and books, DVDs and video games were among the popular items purchased over the weekend. Nearly six in 10 (57.5%) bought clothing and clothing accessories, 37.7 percent bought electronics, 34.5 percent bought toys, and 36.1 percent bought books, CDs, DVDs and video games. Additionally, 29.6 percent bought gift cards and 16.9 percent purchased jewelry items.

“More than 76 million (54.2%) shoppers visited their favorite department store over the weekend, and nearly 55 million (38.9%) visited discount stores. Additionally, 32.2 percent (45 million) shopped at electronics stores and 28.7 percent, or 40 million, went to clothing or accessories stores for gifts.

“Additionally, slightly fewer people (76.4% vs. 79.6%) this year said they took advantage of retailers’ online and in-store promotions to buy non-gift items.”