Thanksgiving Weekend Spending to Rise; 70 Percent of Weekend Shoppers to Hit Stores on Black Friday

The evolution of the 2017 holiday retail environment

Navigate the timeline below to see Deloitte’s evolving analysis of the holiday retail season.

Three-quarters (75 percent) of Americans plan to shop over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to a new survey from Deloitte. People surveyed plan to spend an average of $427 between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, up from their intentions to spend $400 in last year’s survey.

Among survey respondents planning to shop over the upcoming holiday weekend:

On Black Friday, 70 percent of respondents plan to shop in-stores, and 47 percent plan to shop online, down from 55 percent planning to shop online last year. The momentum in stores is expected to continue through the weekend, as 52 percent plan to shop in-store Saturday, compared with 24 percent online, a drop from 36 percent in last year’s survey.

Despite the showing in stores, shoppers expect to spend more than half (52 percent) of their holiday weekend budget online and 46 percent in physical stores.

Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents plan to shop online on Cyber Monday.

More people will shop online (28 percent) than in-stores (25 percent) on Thanksgiving Day. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of those who plan to shop on Thanksgiving say it’s because they don’t want to miss the best deals.

Early-morning Black Friday shoppers will outspend others, as those shopping between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. plan to spend an average of $225. Those shopping at 6 a.m. expect to spend $147, followed by $161 between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Socializing is a primary motivator for spending time in retail stores, as 64 percent plan to shop in-store with family or friends over the weekend.

Traditional department stores are the No.1 physical store destination for the weekend, with 51 percent of shoppers plan to visit them, followed by mass merchants at 39 percent and electronics/office supply/computer stores at 38 percent.

Nearly 4 in 10 (37 percent) people surveyed say they haven’t started any of their holiday shopping yet.

More than one-third (37 percent) of shoppers say they plan to spend more than they originally intended this holiday season.

Clothing and accessories are the top items people plan to buy over the weekend, cited by 65 percent of respondents, followed by electronics (55 percent) and toys and hobby items (47 percent).

Regardless of where people shop, many will rely on digital shopping tools for assistance. Nearly 4 in 10 (38 percent) expect to buy something online while in-store due to better pricing and/or price matching, and 36 percent say they’ll be influenced by deals from a mobile device while in-store over Thanksgiving weekend. Consumers also may not have much tolerance for website performance issues, as 46 percent said they’ll use another retailer rather than wait if an online site has technical problems.

“Consumers are gearing up to increase spending, and while online is expected to pull more of shoppers’ budgets, there is still a healthy outlook for traffic in the stores, particularly on Black Friday,” said Rod Sides, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and U.S. retail, wholesale and distribution leader. “Store retailers will have shoppers’ attention with the overall excitement of the day and tradition of shopping with friends and family. That’s a tremendous opportunity to elevate the customer experience and create a strong rapport to drive sales. It starts with the digital part of the shopping journey, delivering creative and personalized promotions and touchpoints that create inspiration before the holiday weekend. That follows with an in-store experience that delights with displays, merchandise, and seasonal atmosphere, along with services that make it easy for customers to find unique items and make quick transactions.”