More than 141 million Americans celebrated this weekend with that time-honored Thanksgiving tradition: shopping. That’s up from last year’s 139 million, according to a report from the National Retail Federation.
Traffic on turkey day itself increased 27 percent to 45 million shoppers compared with 2012’s 35 million, undoubtedly because many retailers opened early—including Kmart, which greeted shoppers first thing in the morning, and stores like Best Buy, Macy’s, and J.C. Penney, all of which opened their doors Thursday evening. Still, Black Friday was the biggest day: More than 92 million consumers (up from 89 million in 2012) burned off their pumpkin pie by burning up their credit cards.
“Cold weather, unique promotions, and unbeatable prices put millions of Americans in the mood to shop for holiday gifts this weekend,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay in a release. “Retailers’ late night and early morning promotions struck just the right chord… With only a few weeks until the big day, retailers will continue to aggressively promote their in-store and online offerings, looking to entice today’s very budget-conscious and value-focused shopper.” (See the full report here.)
Perhaps those “unbeatable prices” account for the drop in this year’s mean spend: On average, shoppers spent an estimated $407.02 from Thursday through Sunday—down from last year’s four-day total of $423.55.
All this spending wasn’t, of course, confined to brick-and-mortar stores. According to an NRF survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, four in 10 consumers (roughly 59 million) said they did some online shopping. The biggest online shopping day? Black Friday: Nearly half of the online shoppers surveyed (47.1 percent) eschewed day-after-Thanksgiving in-store deals in favor of Web specials. That average spend: $177.67, or 43.7 percent of a person’s total weekend spend—up from 40.7 percent in 2012.
The most popular purchases, said the NRF: clothing and clothing accessories (purchased by 57.5 percent of shoppers); electronics (37.7 percent); toys (34.5 percent); books, CDs, DVDs, and videogames (36.1 percent); gift cards (29.6 percent); and jewelry (16.9 percent).