Dec 01, 2015

Holiday Shopping in the US Off to a Good Start Reveals NRF Survey of Thanksgiving Weekend Sales

The National Retail Foundation says that its Thanksgiving Weekend Survey conducted by Prosper Insights  & Analytics, indicates that more than 151 million people said they shopped either in stores and/or online over the weekend. In an  earlier survey conducted in mid-November, 136 million people had said they would be shopping in this period. 

The survey reveals that nearly 102 million people said they shopped in stores; while more than 103 million said they shopped online.

The average spending per person over the weekend was US$ 299.60, with an average of US$ 229.56 (or 76.6 percent of total purchases )  going towards buying gifts. Further the survey indicates that those under 35 were most likely to shop over the weekend. Specifically, 25-34 year olds spent an average of US$ 425.08 on all holiday purchases; with 69.3 percent of that going towards gifts ($294.44).

Of those who shopped in stores over the weekend, 72.8 percent – 74.2 million shoppers – said they shopped on Black Friday, the biggest day of the weekend; another 34.6 million (34%) said they shopped on Thanksgiving Day and 46.8 million (45.9%) shopped on Saturday.

 “Holiday shopping started well in advance of Thanksgiving weekend this year, but there’s no question that people were still incredibly eager to get their hands on the deals that retailers were offering on electronics, apparel, toys and even small appliances,” observed Pam Goodfellow,  Prosper’s Principal Analyst.

The survey revealed that more than half of those shopping in stores over the weekend said they shopped at a department store (53.6%), and another 37.2 percent said they shopped at a discount store. Nearly one-third (32.4%) said they shopped at a clothing store and 35.1 percent said they shopped at an electronics store.

Moreover, Smartphones and tablet devices served as their own channel for holiday shoppers this year. According to the survey, 56.7 per cent of smartphone owners used their phone to research products, purchase holiday items, check in-store availability and other mobile shopping activities; 57.7 percent of tablet owners used their device to browse holiday deals and purchase items. 

More than half (51.6%) of gift purchasers said they bought clothing items, and 32.8 percent bought toys. Another 31.9 percent bought books, DVDs and videos/video games, and 32.8 percent bought consumer electronics.

NRF has  stressed that its  2015 Thanksgiving weekend survey, including the spending amount, is not comparable to last year’s survey as the methodology has changed.

“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,” said Matthew Shay,  NRF President and CEO. “We recognise 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. 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.”