November 14, 2017
The biggest shopping weekend of the year is right around the corner, and two out of every three Americans are planning to shop or considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend, according to a new report. And that means a lot of freight moving by trucks.
The annual survey by the retail industry group the National Retail Federation and consumer data firm Prosper Insights & Analytics this year for the first time includes Cyber Monday (the Monday following Thanksgiving) in addition to Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) and Small Business Saturday and Sunday (the weekend following Thanksgiving).
“This year, we updated our survey to more accurately capture consumer behavior throughout the entire shopping weekend,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Consumers will benefit from competitive promotions both in stores and online lasting the course of the weekend, allowing them to find the best gifts at the lowest prices.”
Of the estimated 164 million people considering shopping over the long holiday weekend, the survey found that 20% plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day, but Black Friday will remain the busiest day with 70% planning to shop then. A substantial 71 million are expected to shop on Saturday, with 76% saying they will do so specifically to support Small Business Saturday. On Sunday, 35 million are expected to shop, while and 48% are expected to shop on Cyber Monday.
According to the survey, 56% of Americans have already started their holiday shopping, but most still have a long way to go. Only 12% of consumers have completed at least half of their shopping, while only 2% have finished all of their holiday shopping.
“By now, people know what sort of deals they can expect to see during the weekend and are budgeting for them accordingly, and in many cases expertly,” said Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow.
While many consumers will take advantage of deals over Thanksgiving weekend, 31% will refrain from shopping that weekend. Of those not planning to participate, 52% won’t shop because they do not enjoy the experience and 51% say they never shop during Thanksgiving weekend. Of those not shopping, 46% said nothing would change their mind, but 27% said a good sale or discount on an item they want could get them to shop.
The survey, which asked 7,439 consumers about their shopping plans, was conducted Oct. 31-Nov. 7 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.