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This Weekend Will Be Huge for Retail, NRF Predicts

More than 137 million shoppers are expected.

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About 59 percent of Americans – an estimated 137.4 million people – planned to or were considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend, including Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday plus Sunday, according to a survey.

The numbers released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics cover both in-store and online shopping. They represent an increase from 58.7 percent, or 135.8 million people, last year.

“Black Friday remains one of the busiest shopping days of the year, with Americans planning to take advantage of aggressive in-store and digital promotions over the entire holiday weekend,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers know consumers are spreading out their holiday budgets to shop throughout the season. While there’s no doubt of the incredible promotions offered during the weekend, the holiday shopping season is long and consumers will look for and expect great deals down to the very last minute.”

The survey found that 21 percent of weekend shoppers planned to shop on Thanksgiving Day, nearly the same as last year’s 22 percent. And 74 percent planned to shop on Black Friday, the same as in 2015.

A substantial 47 percent were expected to shop on Saturday; of those shoppers, 24 percent said they would be doing so specifically to support Small Business Saturday, up from 22 percent last year. On Sunday, 24 percent expected to shop.

According to the survey, 77 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds and 76 percent of 25-to-34-year-olds planned to shop over the weekend.

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“Millennials continue to drive the trend of hitting the stores – both on their feet and online – as soon as the turkey is finished,” Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “Whether they’re hoping to find gifts for themselves or for the folks on their lists, they will do their research to find the best deals of the weekend and have allotted a large part of their holiday budget for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday spending.”

While not included in the 137.4 million total for the Thanksgiving weekend, 36 percent of consumers said they planned to shop online on Cyber Monday, up from 34 percent in 2015.


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