Thanksgiving Weekend Shopper Turnout Hits Record High

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James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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The number of American shoppers who made purchases in stores or online over Thanksgiving weekend reached a record high, the National Retail Federation announced Tuesday.

During the five-day period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, a record 196.7 million shoppers turned out according to survey data from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

The total grew by almost 17 million shoppers from 2021 and is the highest figure recorded since the NRF began collecting data in 2017, according to its press release. It dwarfed the NRF’s expectations by over 30 million as 76% of consumers went shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend. This year’s total also broke the 2019 record of 189.6 million weekend shoppers. (RELATED: POLL: Americans Prefer Not To Discuss Politics On Thanksgiving)

More than 122.7 million shoppers visited brick-and-mortar retail stores over the weekend, a 17% increase from 2021, while the number of online shoppers rose 2% from last year, up to 130.2 million, the NRF reported.

Black Friday was the primary day for retail shopping with 72.9 million consumers going in person, the most of any day over the Thanksgiving weekend and a 6.4 million increase from last year’s NRF survey. Small Business Saturday had the second highest retail total at 63.4 million, and 77% of shoppers indicated to NRF they hit the stores specifically for Small Business Saturday.

Black Friday was also the most popular day for online shopping, with 87.2 million consumers shopping online, per the NRF. The total was higher than the 77 million who shopped online during Cyber Monday. A record 59% used their mobile device to shop on Cyber Monday, a 7% increase from last year.

Consumers spent an average of $325.44 on Thanksgiving weekend shopping, $229.21 of which went specifically towards gifts for the holiday, they told NRF. A whopping 90% of consumers reported deals that were better or the same as last year, and the top gifts purchases were clothing and accessories, the NRF stated.

The National Retail Federation projects that Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 holiday retail sales will grow 6% to 8% from 2021 totals.

The NRF survey compiled data for 3,326 adult consumers from November 23-27 and has a plus or minus 1.8% margin of error.