‘This year feels so normal’: Thanksgiving shopping weekend expected to reach pre-pandemic levels
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Even with inflation and most retailers now closed on Turkey Day, Black Friday continues to spell big business.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts about 166 million people plan to go shopping at some point between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. That’s an increase of eight million people from last year.
Of those expected to shop over the weekend, 69% plan to do it on Black Friday.
“This year feels so normal,” said Ron Lembke, associate professor of supply chain management and business analytics at the University of Nevada Reno. “I think a lot of people just think ‘Yeah, thank goodness, we finally get to have a normal Christmas.”
Lembke said many factors could be driving these numbers. One is the wage raises resulting from the great resignation.
“If you went from 10 dollars to 12 dollars an hour, that’s a 20 percent raise,” he said. “Now, you still have a very low income but you might feel better off than you were last year, and they may feel like ‘Okay, now is the time that I can spend more money.”
According to the NRF, 60% of consumers began their holiday shopping by the first week of November, lured by early deals and worried that prices might rise but if better deals come along the way, Lembke believes people will follow.
“You started buying now and you know, you have a longer buying window, you’re probably going to buy more stuff,” he said.
While the nation’s major shipping companies like USPS, UPS and FedEx are in good shape to get shoppers’ packages delivered on time this holiday, many shoppers may still feel more inclined to secure items at the stores.
“We’re not going to see the 3 o’clock madness ‘cause we don’t have that but I think we’re going to see a lot of people out shopping,” he said.
Whether you’re heading to a store on Friday or any other day this holiday season, make sure you do your research, compare prices, don’t hesitate if you see a very good deal, and be safe when buying online.
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