Solid Thanksgiving sales support US retail sector
A record 196.7 million American consumers flocked to stores and online shops during the Thanksgiving holiday, demonstrating the ongoing strength of the US retail sector.
The top gifts purchased during the five-day holiday shopping period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday were clothing and accessories, which included jewellery (bought by 50 per cent of those surveyed), toys (31 per cent), gift cards (27 per cent), books/video games/other media (24 per cent), food and candy (23 per cent) and electronics (23 per cent), according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
Survey results also revelaed that the total number of shoppers grew by nearly 17 million from 2021 and is the highest figure since NRF first started tracking this data in 2017.
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay explained, “As inflationary pressures persist, consumers have responded by stretching their dollars in any way possible. Retailers have responded accordingly, offering shoppers a season of buying convenience, matching sales and promotions across online and in-store channels to accommodate their customers at each interaction.”
He added that strong consumer demand as opposed to higher prices is driving growth in the retail sector.
In-store shopping is also back on track. More than 122.7 million buyers visited physical shops during the period in review, up 17 per cent from 2021. The number of online shoppers also grew, albeit at a slower pace. This year saw 130.2 million online shoppers, a 2 per cent increase over 2021.
NRF defines the holiday season as November 1 through December 31 and has forecast that retail sales will grow between 6 per cent and 8 per cent over 2021 to between US$942.6 billion and US$960.4 billion.
The survey of 3,326 adult consumers was conducted November 23 to 27 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.8 percentage points.