Thanksgiving deals not only enticed more shoppers to hit the stores this weekend compared to last year, but also helped holiday consumers keep more money in their pockets, a national retail organization stated this week.
According to the National Retail Federation, holiday shoppers spent on average $407 from Thanksgiving through Sunday, down from $423 during the same period last year. Total spending was estimated to reach $57.4 billion.
More than 141 million unique shoppers visited stores this weekend, up from 139 million in 2012. Nearly one-third, or 45 million, of those unique consumers began their shopping on Thanksgiving Day, a 27 percent increase over 2012, the National Retail Federation reported. Black Friday deals attracted 92 million shoppers nationwide, up from 89 million in 2012.
“Cold weather, unique promotions and unbeatable prices put millions of Americans in the mood to shop for holiday gifts this weekend,” said National Retail Federation president and chief executive officer Matthew Shay in a news release. “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.”
Although 141 million shoppers hit the stores this weekend across the country, Jayne Esser, general manager of the Outlets at Silverthorne, said it’s too soon to tell what Summit County’s share of this year’s holiday spending spree will be. Final sales figures from this weekend won’t be available until about mid-January 2014.
Despite hard figures still being about 45 days away, Esser said consumer traffic was up this year compared to last, even with shorter operating hours.
“According to our traffic counters, traffic was up every day, including Thanksgiving night,” Esser said. “Even with the shorter hours on Thanksgiving night — we stayed open until 1 a.m. versus last year when we were open all night long — we saw more vehicles at the center. We had good weather all weekend long, which was a positive thing as well.”
In addition to the number of shoppers who visited stores this weekend, the National Retail Federation reported a record number of online shoppers on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
The national retail organization predicted those trends would continue into Cyber Monday, estimating 131 million people would take advantage of the last holiday promotion of the holiday weekend. If estimates are correct, the number of Cyber Monday shoppers would be up by 2 million compared to last year.
“An extremely promotional Thanksgiving weekend got consumers excited about the holiday shopping season and on the lookout for more great deals and prices,” said Prosper’s Consumer Insights director Pam Goodfellow in the release. “Shoppers are still checking off their gift lists and millions will use Cyber Monday to hunt for remaining items while staying in line with their budgets.”