Early discounts, tight supplies lead to dip in Thanksgiving weekend shoppers - NRF

Early discounts, tight supplies lead to dip in Thanksgiving weekend shoppers - NRF
© Reuters/LINDSEY WASSON FILE PHOTO: Preparations begin for the Thanksgiving holiday in Seattle

(Reuters) – U.S. shopper numbers fell over 3.5% over the Thanksgiving weekend this year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said on Tuesday, as early discounts and product shortages took the shine off what are traditionally the biggest shopping days of the year.

The world’s largest retail trade association said a total of 179.8 million shoppers made purchases in stores and online over the shopping period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, compared with 186.4 million shoppers in 2020.

Companies across the sector have been pushing consumers to shop for the holidays from as early as October, in an effort to minimize the hit to their profits from supply chain bottlenecks.

Early promotional deals and fewer discounts coupled with shortages of holiday goods due to supply chain disruptions ate into the busy shopping period, driving lower consumer spending.

“Over the last few years consumers have shifted their holiday shopping plans to start earlier in the season,” NRF CEO Matthew Shay said.

Data from Adobe Analytics released earlier on Monday showed online spending on Cyber Monday declined 1.4% from last year, recording a fall for the first time ever.

NRF’s survey, conducted by research firm Prosper Insights & Analytics, showed shoppers spent an average of $301.27 on holiday purchases such as gifts, toys and apparel, down from $311.75 last year.

(Reporting by Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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