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Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., the start of a five-day retail feeding frenzy that will see 165.3 million shoppers doing their very best to score great deals and check off as many items as possible on their holiday lists. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the jewelry category is a top-six pick for 2019.
For the 13th year in a row, "gift cards" ranked as the most popular wish list category (requested by 59% of those surveyed), followed by "clothing and accessories" (52%), "books/movies/music/video games" (35%), "electronics" (29%), "home décor" (24%), "jewelry" (23%), "personal care or beauty items" (21%), "sporting goods" (18%) and "home improvement items" (17%).
The NRF also reported that retail sales are expected to climb between 3.8% and 4.2% to $730.7 billion this holiday season, with the average consumer spending $1,047.
According to the NRF, 39.6 million consumers are expecting to shop on Thanksgiving Day, 114.6 million on Black Friday, 66.6 million on Small Business Saturday and 33.3 million on Sunday. The shopping weekend will wrap up on Cyber Monday, when 68.7 million are expected to take advantage of online bargains, according to the NRF.
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said younger consumers are significantly more likely to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend. Among those ages 18 to 24, 88% say they are likely to shop and particularly enjoy the social aspect. Similarly, 84% of those ages 25 to 34 plan to shop. That compares with 69% of holiday shoppers overall.
Of those planning to shop, there is an almost even split of people who plan to start their shopping in-store (47%) compared with those who plan to start online (41%). Interestingly, those under 25 are even more likely to say they expect to start shopping in-store (52%).
The NRF asked those intending to shop Thanksgiving weekend what they like about the experience...
• The deals are too good to pass up (65%)
• Tradition (28%)
• It's when they like to start their holiday shopping (22%)
• It's something to do over the holiday (21%)
• It's a group activity with friends/family (17%)
For consumers who did not plan to shop in-store or online this Thanksgiving weekend, more than half (53%) said that there are some things that could change their minds...
• A sale or discount on an item they want (26%)
• If a family member or friend invites them to shop (12%)
• If they could be sure the items they want are available (11%)
• A free shipping offer (11%).
Due to quirks in this year's calendar, there are only 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, down six days from 2018 and the shortest number possible, but the NRF statistics show that overall spending will not be affected due to the number of consumers who got their shopping started earlier in 2019.
The survey, which asked 7,917 consumers about their Thanksgiving weekend plans, was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics from October 31 through November 6 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.
Credit: Image by BigStockPhoto.com.