Holiday shoppers set records over Thanksgiving weekend
30 November, 2017, 13:51
That was far more people than expected and a promising start to the bulk of the holiday shopping season: the NRF and Prosper had expected 164 million to shop at stores or online over the five day weekend.
Thanksgiving and Black Friday, when shoppers spent $7.9 billion and bought more on their mobile devices than past year, had also generated record online sales.
The NRF reported spending per person over the five-day period was $335.47, with $250.78 - 75% - specifically going toward gifts.
This year's Thanksgiving weekend results do not include historical data from past years due to changes made to the survey methodology to help better understand consumers' shopping experience and to include Cyber Monday in the calculations. The top two days that consumers shopped online were Cyber Monday with more than 81 million and Black Friday with more than 66 million. Adobe expects online sales to top $107 billion this holiday season. Even with deep discounts, brick-and-mortar stores failed to boost customer traffic on Black Friday.
Retail research firm ShopperTrak said store traffic fell 1.6 percent on Thanksgiving and Black Friday compared with the same two days previous year.
Matthew Shay, president of the National Retail Federation, said he believes consumer confidence, a strong economy and favorable weather all played a role in the weekend results released Tuesday.
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Older millennials - a group pegged at age 25 to 34 - was especially profligate over the weekend. The average order value (AOV) of a Cyber Monday purchase was $103, down from $106 in 2016, and $10 less than the AOV of Black Friday purchases. While pressure from Amazon and other online channels remains, many retailers, like Nordstrom and Kohl's, have been able to avoid falling profits in spite of the upheaval. More than 64 million said they shopped both in stores and online.
The uptick on online shopping isn't just planning on lasting until today, but online sales are expected to also increase by 13.8 percent this year.
An uptick in shopper traffic was seen across all the retailers in Skyhook's analysis around 4 pm on Thanksgiving Day, which was right before most stores opened.
Like Black Friday, though, many retailers offered online deals that last throughout November instead of limiting them to a single day, potentially reducing Cyber Monday's impact.
Preliminary data tracking shoppers' visits to physical stores on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday shows a year-over-year decline of 1.6 percent, according to retail research firm ShopperTrak. Adobe found that smartphones accounted for slightly more traffic than desktop computers on Thanksgiving, but not on Black Friday.
Firearms merchants dangled Cyber Monday deals on guns and accessories, with discounts on ammunition from Cabela's, scopes from Dick's Sporting Goods and, from Bass Pro Shops, an Armalite M-15 Defensive Sporting Semi-Auto Rifle for $649.97, marked down from $799.99.
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ShopperTrak was optimistic for the holiday shopping season, since there are four Saturdays in December before Christmas. Macy's customers in several states took to social media to complain about the retailer's credit card processing system.
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