163.5 million people expected to shop over Thanksgiving

The five-day Thanksgiving holiday is set to be one of the busiest shopping periods of the year for US retailers, with an estimated 165.3 million people expected to shop between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday.

According to the National Retail Federation, the long weekend of spending will form a major component of the expected $730.7 billion of retail sales across the holiday season.

Here’s an insight into what’s in store…

Peak shopping days

Black Friday is tipped to be the busiest day of the holiday long weekend, with the NRF’s survey indicating 114.6 million people are considering shopping on this day.

It’s followed by Cyber Monday, with 66.6 million people expected to take advantage of an array of online bargains.

Shortly behind Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday when 66.6 million people are likely to support local and boutique retailers, while 39.6 million consumers are considering shopping on Thanksgiving Day, and a further 33.3 million are likely to hit the stores on the Sunday.

“The tradition of Thanksgiving weekend holiday shopping has become a five-day event with consumers spending money in stores, supporting local small businesses, and online with their mobile devices and computers,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

“Even as people are starting to purchase gifts earlier in the season, consumers still enjoy finding good Thanksgiving deals and passing time shopping with family and friends over the long holiday weekend.”

The lure of a deal

The promise of a good deal is the reason most people say they’re keen to shop over the Thanksgiving holiday period, with 65 per cent of people saying “the deals are too good to pass up”.

A further 28 per cent will shop out of tradition, while 22 per cent intend to use the occasion to start their holiday shopping, 21 per cent will use shopping as an activity, and a further 17 per cent are looking forward to it as a group activity with friends or family.

Young shoppers the keenest

Meanwhile, young shoppers have expressed the most interest in shopping over the period.

Almost 90 (88 per cent) of shoppers aged 18-24 say they are likely to shop and note particularly enjoy the social aspect.

Similarly, 84 per cent of those ages 25-34 plan to shop, compared to 69 per cent of holiday shoppers overall.

Not just online

In heartening news for bricks and mortar retailers, the Thanksgiving holiday will also likely see slightly more consumers who shop in store than online.

Almost half (47 per cent) of survey respondents indicated they would start their holiday purchasing journey in store, compared to 41 per cent of consumers who planned to start online.

Those under 25 indicate they are even more likely to start shopping in-store (52 per cent).

Others could be convinced

Meanwhile, of the consumers who do not plan to shop, more than half (53 per cent) say something could convince them.

The top things that could change their mind include:

  • a sale or discount on an item they want (26 per cent)
  • if a family member or friend invites them to shop (12 per cent)
  • if they could be sure the items they want are available (11 per cent) or
  • a free shipping offer (11 per cent).

The Thanksgiving Holiday weekend commences with a public holiday on November 28 and includes Black Friday on November 29, Small Business Saturday on November 30, Sunday, December 1, and Cyber Monday on December 2.