Holiday shoppers in US set to spend big
 updatetime:2019-11-28 15:58:32   Views:0 Source:China Daily Global

The annual holiday spending bonanza, which the NRF tracks from Nov 1-Dec 31, is a time-honored tradition that is as much a part of the holiday season for many Americans as eating turkey with their families.

More than 165 million people will shop in stores and online during the busiest shopping days of the year – the five days between Thanksgiving Day on Nov 28, through Cyber Monday on Dec 2. They could spend more than $7 billion online on Black Friday alone (topping last year's total), experts say.

"The tradition of Thanksgiving weekend holiday shopping has become a five-day event with consumers spending money in stores, supporting local small businesses, and online with their mobile devices and computers," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement.

The NRF, which polled 7,917 adult consumers for the survey, found that 56 percent of consumers had already begun their holiday shopping by the first week of November, about the same as the past few years.

That was up from 48 percent who had already started at the same point a decade ago. On average, consumers had completed 24 percent of their shopping, the highest level in the history of the survey and up from 16 percent in 2009. Only 4 percent had completely finished shopping.

Shay added: "The holiday season has grown far beyond the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving is still a hallmark of the season, and there's billions of dollars in shopping still to come."

Ahead of Black Friday, a host of US retail outlets including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, clothing store Madewell and furniture retailer were offering discounts on goods online and in store.

Other retail giants like Kmart, JC Penney, Dollar General, Target, Macy's, Kohl's and DSW will open on Thanksgiving Day. Sears, Home Depot, Apple and Gap will kick off big sales on Black Friday.

Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement: "Last year was our most successful holiday in more than a decade, and that momentum has continued with industry-leading results throughout 2019."

And in a sign of significant change, this year, for the first time, a majority of US consumers — 54 percent — say they will do the bulk of their holiday shopping online, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Steve Bratspies, executive vice-president and chief merchandising officer for Walmart US, said on the company's website that he expects customers "to shop with us on Black Friday … online or in stores".

Holiday shoppers this year are predicted to spend around $1,047.83 per person, an increase of 4 percent over last year, according to NRF's annual survey released in October.

The most popular gift items are expected to be clothing and accessories, purchased by 58 percent of those surveyed, followed by gift cards by 54 percent, toys bought by 39 percent, along with books, music, movies and video games purchased by 37 percent.

At least 42 percent of consumers will splurge on items using a credit card (one of the most popular ways to pay in the US) followed by 37 percent who will use their debit cards and 19 percent who will use cash.

Holiday shopping is big business worldwide. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba set a sales record with 268.4 billion yuan ($38.38 billion) spent by consumers on Singles Day or 11.11, on Nov 11. Sales during the world's largest 24-hour shopping event rose 26 percent this year compared with last year.

In the UK, shoppers are predicted to spend £2.53 billion ($3.25 billion) on Nov 29, 3.4 percent more than last year, according to a report by the Centre for Retail Research for VoucherCodes. During the four-day Black Friday weekend until Cyber Monday, British consumers are predicted to spend £8.57 billion ($6.67 billion).

In the US, the 2018 online sales total for Thanksgiving Day was $3.7 billion, up 28 percent from the previous year. Black Friday pulled in a record $6.22 billion in online sales.

Altogether, the number of Black Friday online shoppers was up 23.6 percent over the 2017 total of $5.03 billion, according to Adobe Analytics, which monitors transactions for 80 of the top 100 internet retailers, such as Amazon and Walmart. Cyber Monday saw $7.9 billion in US online sales.

Web Editor:MXJ