Consumers Shifting to Shopping on Thanksgiving Day

Shopping habits change, slowly but surely. If Thanksgiving was a day dedicated to family, food and football, now it is a day filled with all that plus an healthy dose of shopping, and a new survey among retailers shows that people will have enough shops open to enjoy it. Moreover, online sales during Thanksgiving could surpass those from Black Friday, Chad White, research director at Responsys predicts.

“Prior to 2010 this was a family day – everything was closed,” stated Chad White. “But what retailers discovered after biting the bullet was there is a lot of demand for shopping on Thanksgiving Day.”

In regards to online sales in this period, ComScore reveals that they are 18% up this year, reaching USD479 million. Online sales for Black Friday were up 26% to USD816 million. Experts consider that we will soon see some Thanksgiving Day sale launched early, and that mobile could also be an environment that could drive sales during this holiday.

A survey revealed that people save more money for Thanksgiving Day than for Black Friday.

“The consumer is much more tuned into how and when they can get the best deal,” said Vicki Cantrell, executive director of, the National Retail Federation’s digital division. “The economy is a factor. They’re saying, “I’ll go shopping on Thanksgiving if I can pay less.'”

Holidays are indeed a good moment to attract customers and boost sales for practically any retailer. Finding the best moment to launch offers is still a challenge, but as Christmas offers are launched months ahead and windows decorated way before 25th December, that will also be the case for many other holiday offers launched at least weeks before the big day. It could also be psychological – people saving money to spend it buying what they need or want toward the end of the year. But one could also think about all these offers adding up and creating a habit. With each holiday transformed into a marketing and sale challenge, will we actually buy something that’s not on sale or on a special offer?

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