The National Retail Federation reported Sunday that total estimated spending over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend fell from last year, as holiday shoppers took advantage of earlier store openings on Thanksgiving Day.
The NRF said overall spending was expected to reach USD57.4 billion for the weekend, down from USD59.1 billion in 2012, the first decline in spending since 2009. Shoppers spent an average USD407 Thursday through Sunday, compared with around USD423 in 2012.
The group says earlier discounts led consumers to shop before the weekend, while deep discounts pushed prices down.
The retail industry’s main trade group said it still expects total holiday sales through the year’s end to increase by 3.9% to USD602.1 billion.
On Thanksgiving Day, foot traffic was up 27% to almost 45 million, compared to the 35 million people who shopped on the holiday last year, as retailers opened earlier.
Thanksgiving Day “is now becoming a very critical part of the overall weekend,” Matthew Shay, president and chief executive of the National Retail Federation said. “It’s clear that people want to be out that night, and retailers are responding.”
Black Friday remained the largest shopping day, but foot traffic increased by only 3.5% from last year to 92 million, the retail group said.
Overall, more than 141 million shoppers visited stores and retailers'' websites from Thanksgiving through Sunday. In the same period last year there were a combined 139 million shoppers, the group said.
On average, consumers spent USD177.67 online, accounting for 44% of their total weekend shopping.
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