In-store foot traffic was up but sales dipped from last year over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The National Retail Federation recently released its Annual Thanksgiving Weekend Consumer Survey, which found that nearly 180 million Americans shopped in-store and online during the five-day holiday shopping period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. However, the 2021 number of shoppers was down from 186.4 million in 2020 and 189.6 million in 2019, a decline attributed to retailers beginning their sales earlier and smaller discounts offered.

Due to the widespread reports of supply-chain disruptions, nearly 50% of shoppers said they took advantage of early holiday sales or promotions before Thanksgiving this year. As a result, overall spending in November exceeded 2020 totals, up 12% to $109.8 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. With a longer holiday shopping season, consumers have welcomed the flexibility it offers, with the vast majority of consumers reporting they have already started shopping and have already completed more than half of their holiday purchases.

Physical stores remained a crucial component of Thanksgiving weekend shopping as retailers saw an increase in foot traffic, with approximately 104.9 million shoppers visiting stores, up from 92.3 million in 2020. However, after years of unabated growth, Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales dipped for the first time this year as the overall number of online shoppers decreased to a total of 127.8 million from 145.4 million last year.

Thanksgiving weekend shoppers spent an average of $301.27 on holiday-related purchases such as gifts, décor, apparel and toys, down slightly from $311.75 in 2020. Likewise, according to Adobe’s estimates, consumers spent $10.7 billion this Cyber Monday, just down from $10.8 billion in 2020, with Black Friday spending coming in at $8.9 billion vs. $9.0 billion in 2020.

NRF forecasts that holiday sales during November and December will grow between 8.5 % to 10.5% over 2020 to between $843.4 billion and $859 billion, with consumers planning to spend $997.73 on gifts, holiday items and other non-gift purchases for themselves and their families this year.