WASHINGTON–Consumers’ voracious appetites for great deals on Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year helped secure this weekend’s place in the record books, according to the National Retail Federation.
A survey by the NRF, conducted by BIGresearch, said that weekend traffic and spending were up both online and in stores, reaching historic highs.
A record 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend (including Thanksgiving day), up from 212 million last year. The average holiday shopper spent $398.62 this weekend, up from $365.34 last year. Total spending reached an estimated $52.4 billion. Additionally, shoppers also checked out retailers’ deals online, spending an average of $150.53 on the web – 37.8 percent of their total weekend spending.
“Stuffed to the brim from their holiday meals and eager to shop, more consumers than ever turned out for retailers’ Black Friday promotions, a promising sign for the economic recovery,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “After an historic holiday weekend, retailers know the holiday season is far from over and will continue to look for ways to keep exciting holiday shoppers and build on the momentum we’ve seen thus far.”
The survey found 28.7 million people shopped online and at stores on Thanksgiving Day – up from 22.2 million last year. More people than ever before also shopped online and in stores on Black Friday, as 86.3 million shoppers braved the crowds that day alone.
Nearly one-quarter (24.4 percent) of Black Friday shoppers were at the stores by midnight on Black Friday, either waiting for stores to open or visiting retailers who opened on Thanksgiving evening. By comparison, the number of people who were at the stores at midnight was 9.5 percent in 2010 and 3.3 percent in 2009.
Scouring deals from discount stores to grocery stores, shoppers visited a variety of retailers over the weekend. The most popular shopping destinations once again were at department stores (48.7 percent) and discounters (37.5 percent). Additionally, consumers also shopped at clothing stores (24.6 percent), drug stores (14 percent) and grocery stores (23.8 percent), electronics stores (30.8 percent) and craft or fabric stores (7. 9 percent.) As retailers leverage their websites to offer fantastic deals for online holiday shoppers, more people logged onto retailers’ websites over the weekend (35.2 percent versus 33.6 percent last year).