NRF Reports Black Friday Spending Falls

More than 154 million consumers hit the store over Thanksgiving weekend, up from 151 million shoppers last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual Thanksgiving weekend results survey.

April 6, 2018

NRF Reports Black Friday Spending Falls

Average per person spending totaled at $289.19, down from $299.60 in 2015.


According to the survey, average spending per person over the holiday weekend totaled $289.19, down slightly from $299.60 last year. An average of $214.13, or 74 percent of total purchases, was specifically for gifts.

“It was a strong weekend for retailers, but a better weekend for consumers, who took advantage of some really incredible deals,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “In fact, over one third of shoppers said 100 percent of their purchases were on sale.”

When it comes to where consumers made their purchases, the survey found that 44 percent went online and 40 percent shopped in-store. The most popular day to shop online was Black Friday, up 1.3 percent from last year to 74 percent, followed by Saturday (49 percent), Thanksgiving (36 percent) and Sunday

(34 percent). Of those that shopped in store, 75 percent went out on Black Friday, 40 percent on Saturday, 35 percent on Thanksgiving and 17 percent on Sunday.

The survey also found that nearly three in 10 shoppers (29 percent) headed to the store after 10 a.m. on Black Friday, up from 24 percent last year. Meanwhile, less than 15 percent of consumers arrived at stores by 6 a.m. or earlier on Black Friday, and early Thanksgiving Day in-store shopping dropped by 19 percent with only 7 percent of consumers heading to stores before 5 p.m.

Additionally, 50 percent of consumers that shopped at brick-and-mortar locations indicated that the deals were too good to pass up. However, another 32 percent of consumers shopped in store to continue their family Thanksgiving/Black Friday traditions.

Other highlights from the survey include:

  • Of those that shopped in store, 51 percent shopped at department stores, 34 percent at discount stores, 32 percent at electronics stores, 28 percent at clothing or accessories stores and 25 percent at grocery/supermarket stores.

    • Some of the most popular gifts purchased included clothing (50 percent), toys (32 percent), electronics (30 percent), books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games (28 percent) and gift cards (20 percent).

      • 56 percent of smartphone owners and 53 percent of tablet owners used their devices to assist with weekend shopping activities.

        • Eight in 10 Millennials (ages 18-34) shopped over the weekend, of which 25- to 34-year olds shopped the most in-store (56 percent) and online (62 percent).

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