An estimated 166.3 million people are planning to shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday this year, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. This figure is almost 8 million more people than last year and is the highest estimate since NRF began tracking this data in 2017.
“While there is much speculation about inflation’s impact on consumer behavior, our data tells us that this Thanksgiving holiday weekend will see robust store traffic with a record number of shoppers taking advantage of value pricing,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay says.
According to the survey, more than two-thirds (69%) of holiday shoppers plan to shop during Thanksgiving weekend this year. The top reasons consumers plan to shop are because the deals are too good to pass up (59%), because of tradition (27%) or because it is something to do (22%) over the holiday.
Black Friday continues to be the most popular day to shop, with 69% (114.9 million) planning to shop then, followed by 38% (63.9 million) on Cyber Monday. Among the 114.9 million Black Friday shoppers, 67% say they expect to head to stores, up from 64% in 2021.
Similar to 2020 and 2021, this year, 60% of holiday shoppers had started browsing and buying for the season as of early November. This consumer trend of earlier shopping was accelerated by the pandemic. In 2019, 56% of holiday shoppers had started their shopping around this time.
“While consumers continue to save the bulk of their holiday shopping for later in November and December, some of that spending has shifted into October,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist says. “This year, 18% of holiday shoppers have completed at least half of their holiday shopping. While this is on par with last year, it is up from only 11% a decade ago.”
Online search (43%) remains the most popular source of gift inspiration, followed by friends and family (35%) and within a retail store (31%). The top five gift categories consumers plan to give are clothing (55%), followed by gift cards at 45%, toys at 37%, books/music/movies/video games at 33% and food/candy at 31%.