Thanksgiving shoppers up 10 million; spending down

The National Retail Federation reported that more than 141 million shoppers will have visited stores or retailers’ websites by the end of the Thanksgiving weekend, up by about 2 million from last year.

Many retailers opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day, some for the first time, much to the chagrin of retail workers. That day attracted nearly 45 million shoppers, up 10 million from a year ago, according to the retail group.

Even though their more shoppers, they spent less than a year ago. This year, consumers spent on average $407.02 from Thursday through Sunday, compared with $423.55 in 2012.

“Retailers’ late night and early morning promotions struck just the right chord for those hoping to kick off the holiday shopping season with friends and family,” Matthew Shay, president and chief executive of the National Retail Federation, said in a written statement. “With only a few weeks until the big day, retailers will continue to aggressively promote their in-store and online offerings, looking to entice today’s very budget-conscious and value-focused shopper.”

The most popular items were clothes, electronics, books and video games, the group found.

The group’s figures came from a poll of 4,464 consumers on Friday and Saturday.

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