Holiday Shoppers Broke a Record This Weekend, Says NRF

SurveysNov 29, 2023

Holiday Shoppers Broke a Record This Weekend, Says NRF

From Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, 200.4 million consumers shopped online and in stores.

Holiday shoppers holding bags
In the five-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, 200.4 million consumers went shopping, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey.
Washington—It was a record-breaking holiday weekend for retailers, according to the National Retail Federation.

From Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, 200.4 million consumers went shopping, exceeding the organization’s expectation of 182 million and surpassing last year’s 196.7 million shoppers.

“We had a very big weekend,” said NRF CEO Matthew Shay on a media call Tuesday morning, adding that NRF “continues to expect a healthy, strong holiday season.”

NRF, in partnership with Prosper Insights & Analytics, surveyed 3,498 adult consumers from Nov. 22-26 about their holiday weekend spending.

Here are five key takeaways from the annual survey.

Black Friday reigns supreme.

Black Friday is still the king of shopping days with 76.2 million shoppers heading to brick-and-mortar stores, up from 72.9 million in 2022.

Fewer shoppers were in stores on Saturday, down to 59 million from 63.4 million last year.

Similar to last year, 78 percent of Saturday shoppers shopped specifically for Small Business Saturday. 

Online shopping gained even more popularity.

Throughout the five-day period, online shopping was the most popular option, chosen by 134.2 million shoppers, up from 130.2 million last year.

Fewer people opted for in-store shopping this year, down to 121.4 million from 122.7 million in 2022.

Black Friday was the most popular day for online shopping, as it has been since 2019, said NRF.

Around 90.6 million consumers shopped online on Black Friday, up from 87.2 million in 2022. 

Cyber Monday, the day known for its online deals, saw 73 million online shoppers, down from 77 million last year. 

Fewer people shopped on their mobile devices, down to 40.5 million from the record of 45.7 million in 2022, though still above the pre-pandemic level.

About 44 million consumers used their home desktop or laptop to shop online on Cyber Monday, in line with last year’s figures. 

The top destinations for holiday shoppers were online (44 percent) followed by grocery stores and supermarkets (42 percent), department stores (40 percent), clothing and accessories stores (36 percent) and electronics stores (29 percent).

 Related stories will be right here … 

Shoppers spent less on average this year.

Shoppers spent an average of $321.41 on holiday-related purchases this weekend, down from $325.44 last year. Of this spending, 70 percent went to gifts.

NRF does not adjust its calculations for inflation.

Through the weekend, 95 percent of shoppers made holiday-related purchases, down from 97 percent last year, but in line with historical levels, said NRF.

NRF said it does not include purchases made over the long weekend that are not holiday related, like home goods.

The organization expects overall holiday spending to reach record levels in 2023, with year-over-year growth of 3 to 4 percent, pushing the sales total to $957.3 billion to $966.6 billion.

While that’s a slower growth rate than it’s seen in recent years, it is consistent with the average annual holiday increase of 3.6 percent seen each year from 2010 to 2019, said NRF CEO Shay during the holiday forecast call earlier this month, adding that trillions of dollars in stimulus sparked “unprecedented” rates of retail spending from 2020 to 2022.

The numbers are still good “on a historic basis,” he said on Tuesday’s call, adding “there’s a difference between moderation and bleak.”

Consumers have been “more intentional and deliberate” with purchases in recent quarters, said Shay.

Clothing and accessories were the most popular gifts.

As for what people were buying, clothing and accessories were in the top spot at 49 percent.

Toys came in second (31 percent), followed by gift cards (25 percent), books, video games and other media (23 percent), and personal care or beauty items (23 percent).

This year was the first time personal care or beauty items made the top five list.

Holiday sales were persuasive.

More than half (55 percent) of holiday weekend shoppers said their purchases were driven by sales and promotions, up from 52 percent last year.

Thirty-one percent said a limited-time sale or promotion “convinced them to make a purchase they were hesitant about,” up from 29 percent in 2022.

Retailers have been responding to the demand for earlier holiday shopping with sales and promotions this season, said NRF.

More than half (55 percent) said they took advantage of these early sales, with 35 percent shopping the week before Thanksgiving (Nov. 16-22).

As of Thanksgiving weekend, most consumers (85 percent) had started holiday shopping.

Nearly half of consumers (48 percent) said they were halfway done with their shopping, leaving opportunity for retailers in the weeks ahead.

NRF defines the holiday season as Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 and has forecast that holiday spending is expected to reach record levels, growing between 3 percent and 4 percent, totaling $957.3 billion to $966.6 billion.

The Latest

Lightbox lab grown diamond pendant in yellow gold
Lab-GrownFeb 26, 2024
Lightbox ‘Significantly’ Lowered Its Prices in Q4

The De Beers-owned lab-grown diamond company dropped the price on its standard offerings from $800/carat to $600/carat.

JA New York signs
Events & AwardsFeb 26, 2024
JA New York to Bring the Diamond District to Spring Show

The upcoming show will have an immersive “47th Street Experience” for attendees.

GIA Dubai laboratory
GradingFeb 26, 2024
GIA Opens Lab in Dubai

The new DMCC Laboratory at Uptown Tower will initially serve clients in Dubai free trade zones.

GIA id100
Brought to you by
Full Disclosure at Your Fingertips

Distinguishing natural diamonds from laboratory-grown stones – now more available than ever – has been difficult for jewelers. Until now.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36 with affirmations
WatchesFeb 23, 2024
Rolex to Open New Watchmaking School in Dallas

The Rolex Watchmaking Training Center will welcome its first class this fall.

Weekly QuizFeb 22, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
Guzema Freedom heart pendant for Ukraine
CollectionsFeb 23, 2024
Piece of the Week: Guzema’s ‘Freedom’ for Ukraine Pendant

Ukrainian jewelry designer Valeriya Guzema’s charitable “Freedom” collection is inspired by hope for the country’s future.

Elton John’s leopard print Rolex Daytona watch
AuctionsFeb 22, 2024
Elton John’s Leopard-Print Rolex Roars at Auction

Two Cartier watches also topped their estimates at Christie’s “The Collection of Sir Elton John: Goodbye Peachtree Road” evening sale.

flashforge pic.png
Brought to you by
WaxJet: Revolution in Jewelry Manufacturing

The WaxJet 400, recognized as the world's fastest wax printer, is bringing in a new era of precision and efficiency to industry.

Buccellati header
TrendsFeb 22, 2024
Buccellati to Open ‘Prince of Goldsmiths’ Exhibition

Set to be held in Venice, it’s a look through the maison’s history.

813-carat “Constellation” diamond in rough form
SourcingFeb 22, 2024
Lucara, HB Group Partnership Revived

It is another 10-year sales agreement in which all the larger rough recovered from the Karowe mine will go to HB Group for manufacturing.

Sebastian Clarke and Katherine van Dell of Heritage Auctions
AuctionsFeb 22, 2024
Heritage Auctions Adds 2 New Hires to West Palm Beach Office

Sebastian Clarke and Katherine van Dell, frequent appraisers on “Antiques Roadshow,” will join the new office.

National Jeweler columnist Sherry Smith
ColumnistsFeb 21, 2024
On Data: January Was a ‘Mixed Bag’ for Independent Jewelers

Sherry Smith dishes on the month’s highs and lows and the two categories consumers were loving ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Stock image of diamonds
GradingFeb 21, 2024
GIA’s Same-Day Service Now Available Everywhere

The new service, introduced to stem fraud related to lab-grown diamonds, will be offered at no cost for the time being.

Jam + Rico Claire’s jewelry
CollectionsFeb 21, 2024
Jam + Rico Debuts Second Claire’s Collection

Founder Lisette Scott was inspired by the intricacy, colors, and symbolism of African art and architecture.

Rapaport logo
SourcingFeb 21, 2024
Rapaport to Hold Another Natural Pearl Auction

Viewings start this week in New York and bidding will close on March 8.

National Jeweler columnist Peter Smith
ColumnistsFeb 20, 2024
Squirrel Spotting: Life After Rolex

Peter Smith shares advice from independent jewelers who used losing this cornerstone brand as a catalyst for reinvention.

Neile Adams McQueen and Steve McQueen
AuctionsFeb 20, 2024
Jewels from Neile Adams McQueen Shine at Bonhams

All 13 lots belonging to the actress and first wife of Steve McQueen sold at the recent “California Jewels” sale.

Stuller bench jeweler
Events & AwardsFeb 20, 2024
Stuller to Host Bench Jeweler Workshop in March

Registration is also open for its “Battle of the Benches” challenge.

Mary Ball Gorman of Henry B. Ball Jewelers
IndependentsFeb 16, 2024
Mary Ball Gorman of Henry B. Ball Jewelers Dies at 99

Gorman was an industry trailblazer, serving as the first female treasurer of Jewelers of America.

Jade Ruzzo gold and diamond Tennessee Torque necklace
CollectionsFeb 16, 2024
Piece of the Week: Jade Ruzzo’s Tribute to Tennessee

The movement of the 18-karat gold and diamond “Tennessee Torque” necklace is subtle.

Jared Goff and Claudia Cividino
MajorsFeb 15, 2024
Detroit Lions’ QB Jared Goff Going to Jared

Goff, whose fans hold up “He Went to Jared” signs at games, has signed a partnership with the retailer.

De Beers Venetia diamond mine
SourcingFeb 15, 2024
De Beers’ Production Down 8% in 2023

The company recovered 31.9 million carats of diamonds in 2023, compared with 34.6 million in 2022.

Gina D’Onofrio Heritage Auctions
AuctionsFeb 15, 2024
Heritage Auctions Names New Co-Director of Fine Jewelry

Industry veteran Gina D’Onofrio has rejoined the auction house.

Indian Diamond and Colorstone Association (IDCA) awards
Events & AwardsFeb 15, 2024
IDCA Hands Out Awards in Tucson

The association also celebrated its 40th anniversary.

A selection of engagement rings
TrendsFeb 14, 2024
5 Engagement Ring Trends for 2024

From three-stone rings to fancy shapes, experts weigh in on what consumers could be looking for this year.

Boucheron Power of Couture
CollectionsFeb 14, 2024
Boucheron’s New High Jewelry Collection Pays Homage to Ceremony, History

“Power of Couture” recalls Frédéric Boucheron’s love of fabric using diamonds and rock crystal.

Rough diamonds from Gahcho Kue diamond mine
SourcingFeb 14, 2024
De Beers’ Rough Diamond Sales Improve Slightly

The diamond miner and marketer said “solid” holiday sales in the U.S. helped stabilize the industry.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy