After several generally soft quarters, Thanksgiving weekend was a major win for retailers, according to the latest data from the National Retail Federation.
From Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, the NRF found that more than 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online — significantly topping the 164 million estimated shoppers predicted by the NRF’s earlier survey.
Average spending per person over the five-day period was $335.47, with $250.78 — or 75 percent — going toward gifts, the survey said. Meanwhile, mMillennials (25 to 34) spent the most, averaging $419.52.
Rapid digital growth and shifting consumer preference for experiential spending have taken a significant toll on footwear-and-apparel retail over the past three or more years. But, NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said several factors are working in retail’s favor during the current holiday season — which could create stronger rebound potential.
“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.”
Retailers’ investments technology paid off, with consumers appearing to shop with ease across multiple platforms during the busy weekend.
The survey found that over 64 million shopped both online or in stores. In addition, over 58 million shopped online only, and over 51 million shopped in stores only. The multichannel shopper spent $82 more on average than the online-only shopper, and $49 more on average than the in-store shopper, the NRF said.
Department stores — which had been hit hardest during retail’s downturn — also enjoyed some momentum over the weekend. In fact, the NRF’s data showed that the top shopping destination was department stores (43 percent), followed by online retailers (42 percent), electronic stores (32 percent), clothing and accessories stores (31 percent), and discount stores (also 31 percent). Some of the most popular gifts purchased included clothing or accessories (58 percent), toys (38 percent), books and other media (31 percent), electronics (30 percent) and gift cards (23 percent).
The survey, which was conducted by the NRF in partnership with Prosper Insights and Analytics, asked 3,242 consumers about Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday shopping plans Nov. 25-26.