136M to shop Thanksgiving weekend

Black Friday may have started early, but an estimated 135.8 million shoppers are still expected to shop over the long holiday weekend, according to the National Retail Federation.

That's slightly higher than last year, when NRF's 2014 Thanksgiving Weekend results found 133.7 million holiday shoppers were in stores and online over the holiday weekend.

Shoppers have gotten a head start on their holiday shopping—NRF earlier reported that 60 percent had already begun whittling down their gift lists—but an increasing number of consumers plan to buy online or in stores.

Most will shop on Black Friday (73.5 percent vs. 68.2 percent in 2014), and 22.3 percent said they are eagerly anticipating retailers' Thanksgiving Day deals, compared to 18.3 percent last year.

Small Business Saturday is also a growing draw: 49 percent plan to shop in stores and online on Saturday, up from the 42.9 percent last year. One in five anticipates shopping on Sunday.

"The importance of Thanksgiving weekend to both retailers and consumers will never change. However, retailers have already given consumers several good reasons to start their holiday shopping earlier," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "We suspect early holiday shoppers could still be on the fence about whether or not to try their hand at finding online and in-store deals Thanksgiving weekend."

For more:
-See this NRF survey

Related stories:
NRF airs 'This is Retail'
NRF forms new Digital Council
Sales to rise 2.4% this holiday season
August sales, traffic dip 7% and 10%
Retail sales to rise 4% in 2015

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