Nov 29 (Reuters) - Deep discounts on everything from
fashion to electronics during the Thanksgiving weekend
encouraged more Americans to open their wallets even as
inflation weighed on their shopping budgets, data from the
National Retail Federation showed on Tuesday.
A record 196.7 million shoppers made purchases in stores and
online during the five-day holiday period from Thanksgiving Day
through Cyber Monday, shattering the trade group's expectations
of 166.3 million and up more than 9% from last year.
Consumers held out for better deals over the Thanksgiving
weekend, even as retailers ranging from Target Corp to
Kohl's Corp kicked off a holiday discount frenzy as
early as October.
"The Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend is a tradition
treasured by many American families ... As inflationary
pressures persist, consumers have responded by stretching their
dollars in any way possible," NRF President Matthew Shay said.
Even as sporadic rains across some parts of the country
threatened to dampen shopping during the weekend, a total of
over 122.7 million people still shopped at brick-and-mortar
outlets, a 17% jump from a year earlier. In comparison, the
number of people shopping online grew at a slower pace.
NRF said consumers on average spent $325.44 on
holiday-related purchases over the course of the weekend, an
increase of about 8% from last year.
"It is important to note that while some may claim that
retail sales gains are the result of higher prices ... It is
consumer demand that is driving growth," Shay added.
Apparel, toys, video games and electronics flew off the
shelves, NRF said, adding that shoppers found discounts to be
better than what they had expected or had seen before.
Data from Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store
and online sales across all forms of payments, also showed on
Tuesday that U.S. retail sales rose about 11% between
Thanksgiving Day and Sunday.
(Reporting by Granth Vanaik and Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru;
Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Anil D'Silva)