February 3, 2023

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Record 197 million shoppers over Thanksgiving weekend in US – NRF by Reuters

©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A person shops at a supermarket to buy groceries ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., November 22, 2022. REUTERS/Jim Vondruska

By Deborah Mary Sophia and Granth Vanaik

(Reuters) – Big discounts on everything from fashion to electronics during Thanksgiving weekend encouraged more Americans to open their wallets even as inflation weighed on their shopping budgets, National Retail Federation data showed on Tuesday.

A record 196.7 million shoppers made purchases in stores and online during the five-day holiday season from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber ​​Monday, beating the trade group’s expectations of 166.3 million and more than 9% up year-on-year.

Consumers were looking for better deals over Thanksgiving weekend, even as retailers from Target Corp (NYSE:) to Kohl’s Corp (NYSE:) ignited a Christmas discount frenzy back in October.

“The Thanksgiving holiday weekend of shopping is a tradition cherished by many American families… As inflationary pressures continue, consumers have responded by stretching their dollars in every way possible,” said NRF President Matthew Shay.

Overall, even as sporadic rains threatened to dampen weekend shopping in some parts of the country, over 122.7 million people still shopped in brick-and-mortar stores, up 17% from a year earlier. In comparison, the number of people shopping online grew more slowly.

According to NRF, consumers spent an average of $325.44 on vacation-related purchases over the weekend, up about 8% year over year.

“It’s important to note that while some may argue that retail sales are the result of higher prices…it’s consumer demand that’s driving growth,” Shay added.

Clothing, toys, video games and electronics flew off the shelves, NRF said, adding that shoppers found the discounts better than they expected or saw before.

Data from Mastercard (NYSE:) SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online sales across all payment types, also showed on Tuesday that U.S. retail sales rose about 11% between Thanksgiving Day and Sunday.