The National Retail Foundation (NRF) says the recent five-day Black Friday shopping period broke even their own expectations. However, big dollars don't mean a lot more gifts.

 Black Friday sees over 200 million shoppers

The NRF reports that 200.4 million consumers made at least one purchase during the period of Thanksgiving, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Cyber Monday. That's about 18 million more than their projections, and about 4 million over last year's record.

According to their report:

"Consumers utilized both online and in-store channels throughout the weekend, with 121.4 million people visiting physical retail locations to browse items and make in-store purchases. This figure is consistent with 122.7 million in 2022. Online shoppers totaled 134.2 million, up from 130.2 million last year."

Black Friday was the most popular day, with shoppers utilizing both online and in-store purchases. 76.2 million visited what are referred to as brick-and-mortar stores, another increase over the last two years.

For some time, retail experts were predicting online shopping would eventually be the demise of in-store Black Friday spending, but it appears to be rebounding.

Does shopping equal more gifts?

However, despite the positive news of shopping being strong for retailers, for consumers it doesn't mean they're getting more presents. Much of the increase in spending is due to inflation.

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There are more people shopping, and spending more, but getting less. The federal government's inflation tracking website reports prices have risen 19 percent since 2020. While energy prices have risen the most, along with fuel, food and other necessities, these increases filter down into other areas including the price of retail goods and services.

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Gallery Credit: Annalise Mantz & Madison Troyer


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