By Brecken Branstrator
Washington--More than two out of three Americans could do some holiday shopping during the Thanksgiving weekend, according to a survey released last week from the National Retail Federation.

It was done by Prosper Insights & Analytics from Oct. 31 to Nov. 7 and surveyed 7,439 consumers.

The NRF noted that for the first time in the study’s history, the numbers include Cyber Monday along with Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Sunday to more accurately capture consumer behavior throughout the entire weekend.

It indicates that 69 percent of Americans--an estimated 164 million people--are planning to shop or considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend.

Black Friday is still expected to be the busiest day of the weekend.

Of those considering shopping the holiday weekend, about 70 percent plan to shop on Black Friday (115 million), followed by 48 percent expecting to shop on Cyber Monday (78 million), 43 percent on Saturday (71 million)--with 76 percent saying they will do so specifically to support Small Business Saturday--21 percent shopping Sunday (35 million) and about 20 percent indicating they plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day (32 million).

Of those shopping, 66 percent said they’ll do so to take advantage of deals and promotions from retailers, while 26 percent said it’s a tradition of shopping over the weekend and 23 percent said it’s something to do over the holiday weekend. Another 23 percent said it is when they start their holiday shopping.

“For Gen Z, the holiday shopping weekend is a can’t-miss opportunity,” Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “This group overwhelmingly sees in-store shopping as a valuable way to connect with others, be it friends, family or store associates at their favorite retailers.”

In fact, according the NRF, young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 years old are the most likely to increase their spending.

“As Gen Z and Millennials get older, their purchasing power increases, and the rise in disposable income is sure to be seen by retailers,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “This group of consumers has spent time carefully researching gifts for friends, family and themselves, and are ready to begin knocking out their shopping lists.”

Fifty-four percent of consumers overall plan on spending about the same as last year.

Twenty-four percent, meanwhile, plan to spend more, but among those aged 18 to 24--which includes the oldest members of Generation Z--46 percent said they will spend more than last year.

The group following that demographic was those ages 25 to 34, with 39 percent in that bracket saying they plan to spend more.

When asked what they will buy, 61 percent of consumers said they’ll buy clothing and accessories, the same percentage as last year, while 59 percent will give gift cards, which is up from 56 percent last year.

Books, music, movies or video games will be given by 44 percent--also the same as last year--while 41 percent will give toys. Twenty-nine percent will give electronics, down from 30 percent in 2016.

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