Study: 69% of Americans plan to shop over Thanksgiving weekend

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) – About 164 million Americans are expected to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend, which includes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

Joe Patrone is not one of them.

“It’s too busy!” he said.

For the first time, online shopping is the most popular way to shop for the holidays, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). The group’s annual survey shows 59% of consumers say they plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping online.

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“I have my shopping carts on my websites already full, and whoever’s got the best deal, I’ll go with them,” said Melinda Gilbert.

Consumers say they’ll spend an average of $967.13 this holiday season; that’s up 3.4% from last year. Total holiday retail sales are also expected to climb to between $678.8 billion and $682 billion, according to the NRF.

“It’s supposed to be a great year!” said Kristen Regine, a marketing professor at Johnson and Wales University.

Regine said shoppers can snag good deals both in-store and online, even beyond Thanksgiving weekend.

“As time marches on and we get closer, stores get a little bit more nervous about having inventory left on the shelves, and they’re going to want to move it,” Regine said. “It becomes more competitive the closer we get to that day.”

According to the NRF, 56% of Americans have already started their holiday shopping. Only two percent say they’ve completed it.

Susan Campbell (scampbell@wpri.com) is the Call 12 for Action and Target 12 consumer investigator for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.