With unemployment low and the stock market high, consumers were emboldened to spend more as the holiday season officially kicked off over Thanksgiving.
A record number of U.S. consumers spent more online and in stores over the holiday weekend for everything from clothing to toys, the National Retail Federation said on Tuesday.
A survey by the National Retail Federation found nearly 190 million people made purchases over the five-day holiday shopping period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, an increase of roughly 14% over 2018, and increased their spending by 16% to $313.29.
Shoppers bought more online on Black Friday than in physical stores, where traffic dipped a bit. For the first time, Black Friday topped Cyber Monday as the busiest day for online shopping. Overall, Black Friday is losing its prominence as shoppers spread out their spending, especially this year because Thanksgiving fell so late on the calendar.
NRF Chief Executive Officer Matt Shay said:
“Americans continue to start their holiday shopping earlier in the year, and Thanksgiving is still a critical weekend for millions.”
According to the poll by NRF, more than half the consumers surveyed in early November had already started their Christmas shopping.
The NRF still expects consumer spending to increase between 3.8% and 4.2% this holiday season.