Fewer consumers are expected to shop over Thanksgiving weekend this year

Fewer consumers are expected to shop over Thanksgiving weekend this year

Although fewer US consumers are expected to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend this year, there will be a "sea change" with the ones that do as they will rely on deep discounts from retailers to get them spending. 

According to the National Retail Federation's (NRF) Thanksgiving Weekend Expectations survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, 67.6m holiday consumers plan to shop during Thanksgiving weekend, down from 69.4m in the same period last year.

In addition, 72.5m or 31.6% say they will wait and see if the deals are worth it before they decide, up 2% over last year's 71m "maybe" shoppers.

"Consumers today want more than just the discounts they've been showered with since the start of the recession; they want exclusive offerings and a good reason to spend their discretionary budgets," said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.

"We could witness a sea change this holiday season as consumers' reliance on extremely deep discounts over the biggest shopping weekend of the year shifts to more of a ‘wait- and-see' mentality around what retailers will be offering on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday."

Of the preliminary 61.1% who will or may shop in stores and online over the weekend, 18.3% say they will shop on Thursday, down from the preliminary 23.5% last year. 

More than two-thirds (68.2%) will shop on Black Friday (95.5m), two in five (42.9%) will shop on Saturday (60m) and one in five (21.6%) will shop on Sunday (30.3m.)

NRF also revealed that millennials will be anxious to take advantage of what retailers have to offer again this year. Of the 79.6% that are expected to shop over the weekend, 22.6% will shop on Thanksgiving Day, down slightly from 27.8% a year ago and 79.9% will shop on Black Friday, up from 71.5% who planned to do so last year.