Thanksgiving sees record crowds but spending declines amid heavy discounts

 

Seasonal bargains enticed a greater number of Americans over the Thanksgiving weekend, with more people shopping compared to last year, but heavy discounting meant that retailers raked in less money over the period.

Figures from US National Retail Federation showed that 141 million people went shopping over at least one day during the holiday weekend, which included Black Friday, the country’s biggest sales event. That was up from 139 million in 2012.

But the discounts that lured the crowds also chipped away that amount of money that was flowing into the cash registers, according to the figures issued on Sunday. Total spending over the holiday weekend was expected to total $57.4bn for the four day period that began with the sales on Thanksgiving thursday, down nearly 3 per cent from $59.1bn last year.

The average shopper shelled out around $407 between Thursday and Sunday, compared to around $423 in 2012, the NRF said. 

Online stores continued to draw a greater number of customers, with four in ten in the NRF survey saying they shopped on the internet over the weekend. The average shopper spent nearly $178 online, or around 44 per cent of his or her total spending over the weekend. That was up from around 41 per cent in 2012.

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