Shoppers turned out for holiday deals

Halen Doughty

Both retailers and consumers won big over the holiday weekend with shoppers hitting stores in higher numbers than experts estimated. The National Retail Federation found that over 174 million Americans shopped during the holiday weekend, topping their 164 million shopper estimate from a survey by the NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Each shopper spent on average $335 over the five-day period with 75 percent of that specifically going towards gifts. As predicted, the biggest spenders were older Millennials ages 25 to 34 at just under $420.

All the fundamentals were in place for consumers to take advantage of incredible deals and promotions retailers had to offer,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “From good weather across the country to low unemployment and strong consumer confidence, the climate was right, literally and figuratively, for consumers to tackle their holiday shopping lists online and in stores.”

Consumers used a variety of shopping platforms to check off items from their Christmas lists. The survey found that over 64 million shopped both in stores and online. More than 58 million shopped exclusively online. The multichannel shopper spent on average $82 more than the online-only shopper and $49 more than those who shopped only in stores.

This year, consumers 65 and older proved that online shopping isn’t just for Generation Z and Millennials,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “However, younger consumers (those under 34) are still savvy when it comes to online shopping and leveraged their smartphones the most to browse for the best deals from some of their favorite retailers.”

Black Friday was the most popular shopping day with 77 million consumers turning out to stores the day after Thanksgiving. Fifty-five million supported local stores on Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday and Black Friday were the top two days for online shopping with more than 81 million on Monday and more than 66 million on Friday.

The survey found that 11 percent of shoppers hit the stores before 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, while 11 percent started at 6 p.m. On Black Friday, only 25 percent waited until 10 a.m. or later to get in line. Cyber Monday saw 49 percent of consumers filling their carts early in the morning with 75 percent using their computers at home. Mobile devices were used by 43 percent, and 13 percent shopped on their computers at work.

Top shopping destinations include department stores with 43 percent, online retailers with 42 percent, electronic stores with 32 percent, clothing stores with 31 percent, and discount stores with 31 percent as well. Popular gift items include clothing and accessories (58 percent), toys (38 percent), books and other media (31 percent), electronics (30 percent), and gift cards (23 percent).

According to the survey, shoppers were in the mood to save. Sixty percent of those who spent said most of their purchases were driven primarily by sales. For more info:

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