Record High Shopper Turnout During Thanksgiving Weekend

According to the National Retail Federation, 200 million Americans shopped during Black Friday weekend — that’s 17 million more shoppers than last year.
a person in a store holding a bag that says "black friday"
  • Nearly 200 million Americans shopped during Thanksgiving weekend.  
  • That’s 17 million more than those who shopped during the weekend last year, according to the NRF. 
  • About 123 million shopped at brick-and-mortar retail stores, while 130 million shopped online.

Nearly 200 million consumers shopped during Thanksgiving weekend, the five-day period that begins Thanksgiving Day and lasts through Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). 

According to NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics annual survey, 196.7 million Americans shopped during the period, a record high since the survey started in 2017. This year 17 million more shoppers turned out during the period than in 2021, according to the survey. 

More than three-quarters of consumers (76%) surveyed said they shopped during Thanksgiving weekend, a 6% increase from those who said they shopped during the period last year, according to the NRF. In total, the NRF said more than 30 million additional consumers shopped than it originally anticipated.

More consumers shopped online than in physical stores with 122.7 million people shopping at brick-and-mortar stores during the weekend and  130.2 million people shopping online. Brick-and-mortar saw the largest increase over last year, increasing 17% from 2021, according to the NRF survey. Online shopping increased by 2%. As Retail Leader previously reported, online Black Friday sales this year topped $9.12 billion, which is the largest amount ever spent online during the nation’s busiest shopping day. The numbers are promising for retailers and show consumer resilience in the face of economic pressures like rising interest rates and inflation. 

“The Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend is a tradition treasured by many American families,” said Matthew Shay, NRF President and CEO, in the release. “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.”

NRF’s key timeline takeaways from Thanksgiving weekend:

  • The majority — around 72.9 million — of in-person shoppers went shopping on Black Friday. 
  • Approximately 63.4 million consumers shopped in stores on Saturday, 30.2 million went shopping on Sunday and 22.6 million headed to stores on Monday. 
  • The majority of online shopping occurred on Black Friday, when 87.2 million people purchased something online. 
  • Around 77 million people shopped online during Cyber Monday. 

The most popular shopping destinations during the shopping holiday were online stores and department stores, which 42% of shoppers said they visited. Forty percent of shoppers went to grocery stores or supermarkets, 36% shopped at clothing and accessories stores and 32% of consumers shopped at discount stores, the NRF said.

On average, consumers spent $325.44 on holiday shopping purchases from Friday through Monday, an increase of about $24 from last year. About $230 of the money spent was allocated toward holiday gifts, according to the NRF survey. While Thanksgiving weekend saw a record number of holiday shoppers, major retailers like Target and Walmart started holiday shopping sales earlier this year as they aimed to lure customers and clear out inventory.