Younger Shoppers Spend Big Over Thanksgiving Weekend

More than 151 million Americans hit the stores and e-commerce sites over the Thanksgiving weekend, with shoppers from 18-34 spending the most on holiday purchases, according to the National Retail Federation.

The survey, conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics over the holiday weekend, found that average spending per person totaled $299.60 with three-quarters of that amount going specifically towards gifts. Shoppers ages 25-34 spent an average of $425.08 on holiday-related purchases, with 69.3% of that total going toward gifts.

“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 Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO. “It is clear that the age-old holiday tradition of heading out to stores with family and friends is now equally matched in the new tradition of looking online for holiday savings opportunities.”

Of those who shopped in stores over the weekend, 72.8%— 74.2 million shoppers— said they shopped on Black Friday, the biggest day of the weekend; another 34.6 million (34%) said they shopped on Thanksgiving Day and 46.8 million (45.9%) shopped on Saturday. In addition, 41 million shoppers visited e-commerce sites on Thanksgiving and 75.3 million went online Black Friday to find needed gifts.

“The ease of online shopping through mobile devices now lets millions of people research what they want as well as make timely purchases any day of the weekend— a win-win for both retailers and shoppers,” said Pam Goodfellow, Prosper Insight’s principal analyst.

Popular items purchased during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend included apparel, toys, books, video games and consumer electronics.

Despite the brisk traffic in-store and online, there are still many consumers who feel better deals may still be in the offing. The survey found that 42.9% of respondents think that retailers’ promotions through Christmas Day will be better than those seen over the Thanksgiving weekend.