Editor's Note: This content was originally published on
by Bruce Kennedy.
Despite a shorter-than-usual holiday season this year, industry
observers expect up to 140 million people do do their holiday
shopping, both in-person and online, during the upcoming,
four-day-long Thanksgiving break.
by the National Retail Federation notes that number is down from
147 million last year.
The NRF also asked those polled if they planned to take advantage
Thanksgiving Day shopping hours
that stores like
) and others plan to offer this year; with 23.5 percent of
respondents, or an estimated 33 million shoppers, saying yes.
"As the official kick off to the holiday season, retailers are
prepared to pull out all the stops for their online and store
shoppers," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a
"including offering sweepstakes with cash prizes, free gifts with
purchase and even exclusive opportunities to score top gift items
before everyone else."
Black Friday is still expected to remain as the biggest shopping
day of the holiday weekend. More than 69 percent of those polled,
or about 97 million people, are expected to make their purchases
Online shopping, meanwhile, continues to gain in popularity with
consumers. Shop.org's eHoliday survey reports more than half of the
retailers surveyed plan to start their online holiday promotions at
least five days before the Thursday-through-Sunday Thanksgiving
weekend - with 53.5 percent saying they plan special promotions on
As for where consumers will actually shop,
) annual holiday shopping survey
42 percent of consumers plan to do at least half of their holiday
shopping online. Accenture also says a high number of consumers, 65
percent, expect to "webroom" - that is, browse for gifts online and
then make their purchases in brick-and-mortar stories - in order to
avoid shipping costs.
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