by Brian Lipton


Shopping continued to be an American holiday tradition as more than 151 million people said they spent time and money either in stores and/or online over the weekend – with the majority of shoppers taking advantage of both channels –according to the National Retail Federation’s Thanksgiving Weekend Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Of those who shopped in stores over the weekend, 74.2 million shoppers said they shopped on Black Friday; another 34.6 million said they shopped on Thanksgiving Day; and 46.8 million shopped on Saturday. Among digital bargain hunters, the survey found 41 million people (39.8%) said they shopped online on Thanksgiving Day and 75.3 million (73.1%) shopped online on Black Friday.

More than half of those shopping in stores over the weekend said they shopped at a department store (53.6%), and another 37.2 percent said they shopped at a discount store. Nearly one-third of those surveyed (32.4%) said they shopped at a clothing store and 35.1 percent said they shopped at an electronics store. Furthermore, nearly one-third of respondents (32.5%) said all of their purchases over the weekend were specifically driven by sales and promotions, whether it was an in-store one or an online one.

“We recognize the Thanksgiving weekend shopping experience is much different than it used to be as just as many people want that unique, exclusive online deal as they do that in-store promotion,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.

Moreover, adults 18-35 were most likely to shop over the weekend, according to the NRF. “Millennials have changed the game when it comes to Thanksgiving weekend shopping, making sure they were out early and often over the entire weekend in order to tackle their gift lists as well as their self-gifting lists,” said Prosper’s principal analyst Pan Goodfellow.

While it is still early, initial feedback from retail executives and shoppers show that the holiday season is on track to hit an expected 3.7% increase in sales, added Shay.