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Thanksgiving week shopping has always, and will continue to be, an area of focus for retailers and consumers alike. It may not be my preference after having filled up on delicious turkey and pumpkin pie, but it definitely was for my relatives and many other consumers who bundled up to head out at ungodly hours to do some holiday shopping. And shop away they did, as evidenced by the doubling in the share of people who have completed 51-75% of their holiday shopping. About 1 out of four consumers have completed at least 75% of their shopping during Thanksgiving week, a 50-percent increase compared to the previous week.
What these deal seekers purchased were clothing and shoes, toys and games, and electronics. All of these categories saw an increase of over 25 percent compared to the prior week. Movies and videos and gift cards were also popular items. However, compared to the week before Thanksgiving, gift cards were not as popular, dropping by 40 percent. It is not a surprise since there are rarely any special deals on gift cards.
Consumers’ places of choice to shop for Thanksgiving deals were mass merchant stores, with their array of doorbusters. Even though consumers were making purchases both online and in-store, in-store purchases had the greatest increase. Walmart took the lead, with over 50% of consumers making a trip to the retailer to do some holiday shopping. Target also experienced a lift during Thanksgiving week, jumping from 24% to 35% of consumers making purchases at the retailer.
Consumer average spending also increased as more people made purchases in-store. In-store spending jumped 50 percent while online spending dropped slightly but still remained high. Even though online spending continues to grow, Thanksgiving week is still dominated by in-store purchases.
With only a few weeks left to shop for presents, consumers are picking their pace. Check back next week for more holiday shopping insights.