Thanksgiving weekend spending fell 11%

Retail spending over the Thanksgiving weekend fell 11 percent, its second consecutive annual decline, according to National Retail Federation (NRF).

Total spending from Thursday through Sunday sank 11 percent from a year earlier to $50.9 billion, according to the NRF’s Thanksgiving Weekend Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Shoppers spent an average $380.95, down 6.4 percent from $407.02 a year earlier.

Total shopping, including multiple trips by the same shopper, was also down during the weekend (233.3 million vs. 248.6 million a year ago).

“A strengthening economy that changes consumers’ reliance on deep discounts, a highly competitive environment, early promotions and the ability to shop 24/7 online all contributed to the shift witnessed this weekend,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “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 also attributed the declines to better online offerings and an improving economy where “people don’t feel the same psychological need to rush out and get the great deal that weekend, particularly if they expected to be more deals.”

“Though much shopping has been done by this point, it’s important to remember that there are still many weeks left in the holiday season, and savvy shoppers will continue to look for exclusive prices to purchase holiday gifts,” said Prosper’s principal analyst Pam Goodfellow. “As competition for customer dollars heats up, consumers will be the ultimate winners in the end. Shoppers this year have made it clear that they no longer only value deep discounts on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, they want the entire package from beginning to end – free shipping, early promotions, convenient ways to use their mobile devices and, of course, hard-to-beat online deals.”

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