Thanksgiving Weekend Sales Soar Across the Board

Person holding several shopping bags

"It bodes well for the rest of the year".

The National Retail Federation did not produce data estimating the total amount spent by US consumers online and in stores.

Sales occurred over multiple platforms as online shopping continued to gain strength. Roughly 64 million shopped both in stores and online.

Omnichannel behavior: The survey found over 58 million shopped only online over the five-day period versus over 51 million that shopped only in stores. The multichannel shopper spent $82 more on average than the online-only shopper, and $49 more on average than those shoppers who only shopped in stores. Shoppers seem willing to spend more, but that's not benefiting retailers equally. "It's a reflection of retail looking different every year". "We saw that play out over the weekend".

- Everyone - online and off - is doling out the discounts: This was supposed to be the year that brands like Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors relied less on markdowns to move merchandise. Stern said he shopped both online and in stores - sometimes simultaneously - on Black Friday in search of the best deals. "Not only continue to rise, but when you look at the growth in mobile, it's going to continue to rise in a seamless way".

Mobile's influence: Sixty-three percent of smartphone owners used their mobile devices to make holiday decisions, and 29 percent used their phones to make actual purchases. "Consumers are also becoming more savvy and efficient online shoppers".

The survey showed that shoppers were in the mood to find great deals.

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Data from ShopperTrak shows that traffic at brick-and-mortar stores decreased less than 1% from Black Friday previous year, which is actually good news compared to what some analysts had been fearing. Though, retail research firm ShopperTrak said store traffic fell less than 1 % on Black Friday, bucking industry foresight of a sharper decline.

McMillan-Doolittle's Stern said the in-store performance was better than anticipated and contributed to what was an upbeat weekend across retail. Yet although Cyber Monday has become the posterchild for online holiday shopping, the day still hasn't dominated social media, giving weight to the idea that retailers can be doing more to promote Cyber Monday deals.

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.

Nearly 22 million consumers from across the country are thought to have made a purchase on November 27th this year, taking advantage of retailer discounts and contributing to a total £7.8 billion spend carried out across the entire four day spree which began last Friday. The federation said it was sticking to those projections as retailers move into what Shay described as the "halftime break of the holiday season".

The Retail Federation noted that this year's shopping season includes four full weekends and one more shopping day than last year's, because Christmas falls on a Monday.

Growth in Thanksgiving Day desktop retail e-commerce sales was predominantly driven by an increase in buyers (+16 percent vs. year ago), but also modest increases in the number of dollars per transaction (+3 percent) and transactions per buyer (+2 percent).

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