Hundreds of shoppers waited in lines at the Kettering Meijer on Thanksgiving, yet nationally, about 9 million fewer people shopped over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend. STAFF PHOTO / HOLLY SHIVELY

Black Friday shopping appeal: What’s really going on

The five-day shopping weekend from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday doesn’t seem to have the same pull it used to, with fewer shoppers spending less this year than last.

While about one million more shoppers made purchases during the five-day span than expected, the 165 million count is still down from last years 174 million shoppers, according to the Nation Retail Federation. Average spending was also down from $335.47 last year to $313.29 this year, despite NRF forecasting record spending for the holiday season.

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Shoppers said they finished about half of their holiday shopping over the weekend, with more shopping days before Christmas this year to continue buying holiday necessities. About 92 percent of consumers said the weekend’s strong deals will only get better as Christmas approaches.

Yet omnichannel retail performed well, with 89 million people saying they shopped both in stores and online, up 40 percent from last year. Multi-channel shoppers spent an average $93 more than single-channel shoppers.

»PHOTOS: Here’s what local Meijer stores looked like Thanksgiving morning

Stores were emptier this year than last all around, with in-store traffic on Cyber Monday dropping 7 percent, a significantly larger decrease than the 2 percent drop in 2017, according ShopperTrak.

But online sales on Cyber Monday broke records, with a total $7.9 billion spent, a 19.3 percent increase from last year, according to Adobe Analytics. It was the single largest online shopping day of all time in the United States, thanks to a nearly 56 percent surge in mobile transactions.

Black Friday in-store traffic also decreased 1.2 percent, adding to 2017’s 2.3 percent decrease, according to the retail tracking company.

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