A record number of shoppers grabbed their holiday deals during the busiest shopping weekend of the year.
Nearly 190 million people shopped from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, a 14 percent increase from last year’s estimated 166 million, according to a Tuesday study from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
NRF President and Chief Executive Matthew Shay said the figures point to a strong and solid weekend.
“There was strong momentum as we headed into these past five days,” Shay said during a media call. “Retailers were doing their part to contribute to the momentum. They were offering deals earlier…and consumers definitely responded by getting into the holiday spirit earlier than normal.”
Cassia Davis of Colorado was one of those consumers. She spent last week shopping at Las Vegas North Premium Outlets.
“I was looking for boots at North Face…so I thought I would see what kind of deals were here and see what I can find,” she said.
Shoppers spent an average of $361.90 during the holiday weekend, up 16 percent from last year. The survey found the biggest spenders were 25- to 34-year-olds who spent about $440.46 followed by those aged 35 to 44 at $439.72.
While many Las Vegans and tourists hit the shops ahead of Thanksgiving Day to avoid the crowds, the NRF study found Black Friday was the busiest day for in-store activity with 84.2 million shoppers. Small Business Saturday came in second with 59.9 million shoppers followed by Thanksgiving Day with 37.8 million consumers, Sunday with 29.2 million and Cyber Monday at 21.8 million shoppers.
Black Friday also beat out Cyber Monday for the first time as the busiest day for online shoppers. An estimated 93 million shoppers picked up online products on Black Friday compared to the roughly 83 million who waited until Cyber Monday.
The most popular gift purchase over the weekend was apparel, which was bought by 58 percent of the 6,746 adults surveyed. Toys came in second followed by electronics, books and other media as well as gift cards.
Shay said one trend was more shoppers took advantage of the buy online, pick up in store option.
“We started to see it last year, but this year we really saw … the growth of buy online and pick up in store experience,” he said. “Forget about free shipping tomorrow or next day, they can go get it right now at the store. It really is in a lot of ways a combination of ideal opportunities both for consumers and retailers.”