NPD: Thanksgiving Weekend Spending Softer Than Store Traffic

Consumers may have flooded stores over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, but their spending rates were lower than 2016, according to data from The NPD Group’s Checkout service.

Dollar sales in the week ending November 25, which includes Black Friday, were down 2% when compared to the same week in 2016. However, overall sales for the first four weeks of the holiday shopping season, covering a period of October 29 through November 25, were up 2%.

“With just three weeks left in the season, retailers will soon be pressed into pulling out all the stops with storewide sales in hopes of capturing more impulse purchases that will help to propel sales,” said Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief industry advisor.

Housewares categories including kitchen appliances, driven by cookers, and home environment products, driven by specialty cleaning products and robotic vacuums, were among the top performing segments. Other top selling categories include home automation, digital media speakers and personal computers.

“Once again we see practical gifting and self-gifting take center stage through Black Friday weekend,” said Cohen. “Consumers seem to have stored up their own home and beauty product needs in order to take advantage of great prices.”

Not surprisingly, e-commerce sales continued to grow, with NPD data showing the number of online buyers increased more than 30% from November 23 through November 25 when compared to the same holiday shopping days in 2016. E-commerce Thanksgiving spending was up 2%, up 1% on Black Friday and up 9% Thanksgiving Saturday, NPD said.