Number of early holiday shoppers beats early estimates

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Dec. 3, 2017 12:01 am

The results are in, and it appears Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday were a big hit among consumers.

More than 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and ensuing Monday. That beat an earlier projection by 10 million, according to the National Retail Federation.

"From good weather across the country to low unemployment and strong consumer confidence, the climate was right, literally and figuratively, for consumers to tackle their holiday shopping lists online and in stores," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in published reports.

Some of the most interesting shopping numbers, provided by the NRF, and Prosper Insights and Analytics of Worthington, Ohio, included:

º Average spending per person over the five-day period was $335.47, with $250.78 -- or 75 percent -- specifically going toward gifts. The biggest spenders were older millennials (25 to 34 years old) at $419.52.

º The most popular day for in-store shopping was Black Friday, cited by 77 million consumers, followed by Small Business Saturday, with 55 million consumers.

º The top two days that consumers shopped online were Cyber Monday, with more than 81 million, and Black Friday, with more than 66 million. In addition, 63 percent of smartphone owners used their mobile devices to make holiday decisions and 29 percent used their phones to make actual purchases.

"This year, consumers 65 and older proved that online shopping isn't just for Generation Z and millennials," said Phil Rist, Prosper executive vice president of strategy, in a news release. "However, younger consumers (those under 34) are still savvy when it comes to online shopping and leveraged their smartphones the most to browse for the best deals from some of their favorite retailers."

º 11 percent of consumers shopped before 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

º On Black Friday, 25 percent started at 10 a.m. or later.

º Top shopping destinations included department stores (43 percent), online retailers (42 percent), electronics stores (32 percent), clothing and accessories stores (31 percent), and discount stores (31 percent).

º Some of the most popular gifts purchased included clothing or accessories (58 percent), toys (38 percent), books and other media (31 percent), electronics (30 percent), and gift cards (23 percent).

What others ?are saying

º CNBC: "The most products ever ordered in one day on occurred on Cyber Monday. ... The top-selling item was the Echo Dot."

º New York Times: "McDonald's (is) getting better at using budget-friendly menu items to attract customers to its franchise stores. Promotions including $1 beverages and the ‘McPick 2' value menu helped lift comparable store sales -- or sales at stores open at least 13 months -- 6 percent globally in the most recent quarter. Such promotions reflect a revamped effort at McDonald's to focus more on value-conscious fare -- including a plan to introduce a $1, $2 and $3 value menu next year."

º Springfield (Ill.) State Journal-Register: "If your son or daughter wants a flashy new ‘Star Wars' toy or a cuddly stuffed animal this year, it would be wise to wait until December to buy it. That's when toy discounts are likely to abound. Expect great sales close to Dec. 25. And don't forget about Super Saturday -- retailers traditionally offer loads of savings on the last Saturday before Christmas. In 2016, last-minute Christmas sales included discounts of as much as 50 percent off at stores like Toys R Us."

The top five

The highest-paid NBA players this season, according to Business Insider:

1. Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors, $34.7 million.

2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, $33.3 million.

3. Paul Millsap, Denver Nuggets, $30.8 million.

4. Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics, $29.7 million.

5. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers, 29.5 million.

Words of wisdom

Bronze medal: "Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records." -- William A. Ward, late author.

Silver medal: "Sweat is the cologne of accomplishment." -- Heywood Hale Broun, late sports writer.

Gold medal: "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." -- Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner.

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