This year saw a greater number of people shopping over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (a record 196.7 million), which also saw the resurgence of in-store shopping, according to National Retail Federation CEO Matthew Shay.
The head of the trade organization was upbeat about shopping behavior on a conference call with reporters on Tuesday morning. He said the NRF has found the 5-day period to be a good indicator and predictor of consumer behavior during the 60-day holiday shopping season (November 1 through December 31).
This year, people are excited to return to in-store shopping, Shay said. “Of the 196.7 million holiday weekend shoppers, nearly 123 million shopped in stores, up from approximately 105 million in 2021, a 17% increase.”
Shay also said its survey of shoppers indicate people are halfway through their shopping – there’s a long way to go, he said.
Some takeaways about the 5-day Thanksgiving weekend shopping period from the NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics:
- Over 122.7 million people visited bricks-and-mortar stores over the weekend, up 17% from 2021.
- 130.2 million people shopped online, a 2% increase over 2021.
- Consumers spent an average of $325.44 on holiday-related purchases over the course of the weekend, up from $301.27 in 2021. Of that amount, most ($229.21) was directed specifically toward gifts.
The NRF CEO said people are focused on value, and retailers are responsive, offering convenience, sales and promotions.
He also said his conversations with retailers indicated that while last year there was too little inventory, and 8 months ago retailers were carrying too much inventory, they are now in a good place to meet consumer demand. Consumers are out shopping when they see deals – retailers must deliver value and price.
When asked about his thoughts on a recession, Shay said the only “r word” he’s focused on is railway given the looming railway strike and its potential to have negative consequences on the economy and consumer confidence.