Consumers Break Early Holiday Shopping Records: A Win for Retail

Thanksgiving weekend was a revenue win for the retail industry as consumers could not forgo early holiday shopping. Since the pandemic and current recession, retailers have been feeling the pressure from consumers as they raise their prices while consumers spend their money more wisely. The holiday season brings retailers the chance to make sales, as early holiday shopping for gifts and decor entices this year’s American consumers.

This year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday held record breaking sales with 196.7 million shoppers over the holiday weekend according to the NRF. Retailers are seeing that a larger number of consumers are planning ahead and getting holiday shopping done earlier this year. Over 50% of surveyed consumers stated they took advantage of the early holiday shopping deals. Not only that, but almost a third of shoppers used credit, loans, or buy now, pay later plans to finance their holiday shopping. This proves positive for the retail industry as even consumers whose budgets are stretched thin are willing to spend for the holidays.

Venkatesh Shankar, Director of Research for the Texas A&M University Center for Retailing Studies and RETHINK Retail top retail influencer, believes that with the current record-breaking holiday shopping numbers, this could make for a very positive holiday season for both retailers and consumers.

Venky’s Thoughts

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday just got over. The American shopper has spoken. The NRF, the National Retail Federation expects that about 196 million shoppers shopped this year compared to the expected 166 million. That’s a lot of shoppers coming over and buying during Thanksgiving and the weekend. And Adobe expects that there was 9 billion dollars plus during Black Friday and about 11 billion dollars on cyber-Monday and about 6 to 7 billion dollars over the weekend.

It’s turning out to be a record-breaking Thanksgiving Day shopping, but let’s be sure to peel the layers from the onions. And what do we see? Shoppers spending just slightly about the inflation rate, which is still very good. And also, we know that some of the shoppers doing buy now, pay later, which means that many of the shopping is done on credit, which is also okay.

We also know that shoppers have shopped more for items on deals and discounts, which is what we expect, but more so in the more durable categories like consumer electronics, games, and so on. What we expect to see going forward the good news is that the recent surveys reveal that shoppers have told that they’ve only finished about 50% of the holiday shopping, so that means we still have to go another 50% that all goes real well for the holiday shopping.

Let’s hope this turns out to be a good holiday shopping for both the shoppers as well as the retailers.”

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