Fewer holiday shoppers visited stores and online retailers during Black Friday, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). The NRF anticipated dips in Cyber Monday sales as well.
The organization estimated that approximately 55.1 percent of holiday shoppers visited brick-and-mortar and virtual stores over Thanksgiving weekend. During the same time frame in 2013, 58.7 percent of holiday shoppers took to the malls. The NRF estimates reveal 7.5 million fewer shoppers during Thanksgiving this year compared to last.
Shoppers spent less over the Thanksgiving weekend as well. The industry group estimates holiday bargain-seekers spent $407 on average in 2013 and only $380 during the same weekend this year.
NRF President and CEO said an improved economy is lessening consumers’ reliance on deep discounts, and the ability to shop online at all hours of the day and night has contributed to the shift retailers are seeing over the Thanksgiving holiday.
“We are excited to be witnessing an evolutionary change in holiday shopping by both consumers and retailers, and expect this trend to continue in the years ahead,” Shay said in a press release.
Retail industry experts anticipate overall holiday sales will lower this year. The NRF anticipates total holiday spending will reach $50.9 billion, down from last year’s estimated $57.4 billion.
Though fewer shoppers braved stores on Black Friday this year, the day continues to draw the most shoppers each year. The number of people who shopped on Thanksgiving Day remained flat compared to last year. In 2013, NRF estimates that 31.8 percent of Americans shopped online or in stores on the holiday. This year, 32.2 percent said they shopped in stores or online on Thanksgiving Day.