An estimated 166.3 million people are planning to shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday this year, according to the annual survey released last week by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
This figure is almost eight million more people than last year and is the highest estimate since NRF began tracking this data in 2017.
“While there is much speculation about inflation’s impact on consumer behavior, our data tells us that this Thanksgiving holiday weekend will see robust store traffic with a record number of shoppers taking advantage of value pricing,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “We are optimistic that retail sales will remain strong in the weeks ahead, and retailers are ready to meet consumers however they want to shop with great products at prices they want to pay.”
Still, the holiday shopping survey by WalletHub.com shows that 50% of people say that Santa will be less generous this year due to inflation, and 40% of Americans plan to forego holiday gifts this year due to inflation.
While Black Friday is traditionally associated with the best prices relative to the rest of the year, we should pause from our spending and ask how good of a deal we are really getting, according to WalletHub.
As it turns out, 27% of items will offer no savings compared to their pre-Black Friday prices this year, WalletHub reports. According to WalletHub’s holiday shopping survey, 28% of American consumers are planning to spend less during the 2022 holiday season relative to 2021.
Black Friday continues to be the most popular day to shop, with 69% (114.9 million) planning to shop then, followed by 38% (63.9 million) on Cyber Monday, according to NRF. Among the 114.9 million Black Friday shoppers, 67% say they expect to head to stores, up from 64% in 2021.
Similar to 2020 and 2021, this year, 60% of holiday shoppers had started browsing and buying for the season as of early November, according to the NRF report. This consumer trend of earlier shopping was accelerated by the pandemic. In 2019, 56% of holiday shoppers had started their shopping around this time.
“While consumers continue to save the bulk of their holiday shopping for later in November and December, some of that spending has shifted into October,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “This year, 18% of holiday shoppers have completed at least half of their holiday shopping. While this is on par with last year, it is up from only 11% a decade ago.”
Online search (43%) remains the most popular source of gift inspiration, followed by friends and family (35%) and within a retail store (31%), NRF reports. The top five gift categories consumers plan to give are clothing (55%), followed by gift cards at 45%, toys at 37%, books/music/movies/video games at 33% and food/candy at 31%.
For those buying for children, top toys for boys this year include 1. Lego, 2. Hot Wheels, 3. cars and trucks, 4. PlayStation, 5. video games, 6. Pokémon, 7. Nerf, 8. electric/remote control cars, 9. dinosaurs, and 10. Xbox. For girls, the top toys are 1. Barbie, 2. doll, 3. L.O.L. dolls, 4. Lego, 5. makeup, 6. Squishmallows, 7. American Girl and apparel (tied), 8. Disney-related items, 9. baby doll, and 10. cell phone and Magic Mixies (tied).
NRF forecast earlier this month that holiday sales during November and December will grow between 6% and 8% over 2021 to between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion. Last year’s holiday sales grew 13.5% over 2020 and totaled $889.3 billion, shattering previous records. Holiday retail sales have averaged an increase of 4.9% over the past 10 years, with pandemic spending in recent years accounting for considerable gains.
While in past years many retailers opened on Thanksgiving Day, the trend recently has been for most brick-and-mortar stores to close on the holiday and open early on Black Friday.
Arbor Place Mall in Douglasville will be closed Thanksgiving Day and will be open Black Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe’s are among the big box stores with locations in Douglas County that will be closed Thanksgiving. Walmart, Kohl’s and Best Buy will open at 5 a.m. on Black Friday, while Home Depot and Lowe’s will open at 6 a.m. and Target will open at 7 a.m.
Visit blackfriday.com for more information on store hours and sales.