(The Center Square) – Holiday shopping gets underway in earnest this weekend with many expected to visit brick-and-mortar stores in Illinois.
The National Retail Federation predicts over 166 million people will shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, which is 8 million more than last year.
“While there is much speculation about inflation’s impact on consumer behavior, our data tells us that this Thanksgiving holiday weekend will see robust store traffic with a record number of shoppers taking advantage of value pricing,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.
A survey from NRF showed Black Friday continues to be the most popular day to shop, with 69% (114.9 million) planning to shop then, followed by 38% (63.9 million) on Cyber Monday.
Chris Davis, Illinois state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, hopes Saturday is a big day for small businesses around the state.
“We are optimistic about the holidays and certainly encourage consumers to shop local and get out on Small Business Saturday and have some patience and grace with small businesses,” said Davis.
The holiday shopping season is already underway. The NRF survey showed that 60% of holiday shoppers had started browsing and buying for the season as of early November.
“While consumers continue to save the bulk of their holiday shopping for later in November and December, some of that spending has shifted into October,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “This year, 18% of holiday shoppers have completed at least half of their holiday shopping. While this is on par with last year, it is up from only 11% a decade ago.”
A forecast earlier this month from NRF projected holiday sales during November and December will grow between 6% and 8% over 2021 to between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion.