A Record 247 Million Americans Shopped Black Friday Weekend Deals: NRF

The following article is based on a press release published by the National Retail Federation (NRF) on Sunday, November 25, 2012 entitled “Thanksgiving Day Promotions Win Over Millions of Holiday Shoppers, According to NRF."

November 29, 2012 | A survey conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF) revealed that a record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 226 million in 2011. The average holiday shopper spent $423 this weekend, up from $398 last year. Total spending reached an estimated $59.1 billion.   

“From green beans to great deals, millions of Americans found time this Thanksgiving to make the most of retailers’ promotions and enjoy a special family holiday,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “To keep their customers excited about holiday shopping, retailers will continue to offer attractive promotions through December, and provide strong consumer value with low prices, enhanced mobile and online offerings, and unique product assortment.”

Over their weekend shopping trips, looking for both “self-gifts” and gifts for others, nearly six in 10 bought clothing and clothing accessories, up from 51.4% last year. Gift buyers also bought toys (34.6%), books, CDs, DVDs, video games (39.8%), electronics (37.7%), and jewelry (15.2%).  

“We were pleased to hear that more than a third of the purchases made on Black Friday weekend were toy-related,” stated Carter Keithley, president of the Toy Industry Association (TIA).

NRF’s definition of “Black Friday weekend” includes Thursday, Friday, Saturday and projected spending for Sunday (note that the original release was published on Sunday, November 25). Getting an early start was definitely on the minds of Americans, as eager holiday shoppers ventured out as soon as they could on Thanksgiving night. Twenty-eight percent of weekend shoppers were at the stores by midnight on Black Friday, compared to 24.4% last year.

Many Americans also took advantage of the convenience of purchasing goods online; according to the NRF, the average person spent $172.42 in cyberspace over the weekend, or approximately 40.7% of their total weekend spending. Big online sales also began before ‘Cyber Monday.’  NRF asked shoppers which days they shopped online – more than one-quarter (27%) of holiday shoppers said they shopped online on Thanksgiving Day, and nearly half (47.5%) on Black Friday.

The full report is available on the NRF Website.