Consumers have been eagerly checking out the deals retailers are offering for the biggest shopping weekend of the year, with 69 percent of Americans — an estimated 164 million people — planning to or considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend, according to the annual survey released last week by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Consumers have been eagerly checking out the deals retailers are offering for the biggest shopping weekend of the year, with 69 percent of Americans — an estimated 164 million people — planning to or considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend, according to the annual survey released last week by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

“This year, we updated our survey to more accurately capture consumer behavior throughout the entire shopping weekend — Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers will benefit from competitive promotions both in stores and online lasting the course of the weekend, allowing them to find the best gifts at the lowest prices.”

Of those considering shopping the long holiday weekend, the survey found that 20 percent plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day (32 million) but Black Friday remained the busiest day with 70 percent planning to shop then (115 million). A substantial 43 percent were expected to shop today (71 million), with 76 percent saying they will do so specifically to support Small Business Saturday. On Sunday, 21 percent expect to shop (35 million) and 48 percent are expected to shop on Cyber Monday (78 million).

Of those shopping, 66 percent said they’re doing so to take advantage of deals and promotions retailers will offer, while 26 percent cited the tradition of shopping over Thanksgiving weekend and 23 percent said it’s something to do over the holiday weekend. Another 23 percent said it is when they start their holiday shopping.

According to the survey, 56 percent of Americans have already started their holiday shopping, but most still have a long way to go. Only 12 percent of consumers have completed at least half of their shopping, while only 2 percent have finished all of their holiday shopping.

When asked what they enjoy the most about shopping during the holidays, 35 percent said it is a family tradition while 23 percent said they most enjoy holiday decorations and displays; 18 percent cited finding the perfect gift for someone.

“While the utility of the weekend will continue to draw shoppers into stores and online to efficiently and inexpensively check off their lists, we’re also seeing consumers report tradition and the opportunity to partake in holiday cheer as reasons for shopping, too,” Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “By now, people know what sort of deals they can expect to see during the weekend and are budgeting for them accordingly, and in many cases expertly.”

“For Gen Z, the holiday shopping weekend is a can’t-miss opportunity,” Goodfellow said. “This group overwhelmingly sees in-store shopping as a valuable way to connect with others, be it friends, family or store associates at their favorite retailers.”

While many consumers will take advantage of deals over Thanksgiving weekend, 31 percent will refrain from shopping that weekend. Of those not planning to participate, 52 percent won’t shop because they do not enjoy the experience and 51 percent say they never shop during Thanksgiving weekend. Of those not shopping, 46 percent said nothing would change their mind but 27 percent said a good sale or discount on an item they want could get them to shop.

For more information, visit nrf.com.

Small Business Saturday

Black Friday might be the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, but over the last several years the popularity of Small Business Saturday has been picking up speed.

Last year, according to the post-holiday survey released by National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express, 95 million Americans reported shopping at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, and they spent more than $16 billion, an increase of 14 percent from the previous year.

Since 2010, NFIB has been a partner with American Express in a national campaign to promote Small Business Saturday.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for most of the jobs in this country, and small businesses create most of America’s net new jobs.

For many of those small businesses, the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are a crucial period that could determine whether they are profitable for the year.

“Small business represents 99.7 percent of all U.S. employers, and they provide jobs for 58 million Americans,” said Juanita Duggan, NFIB President and CEO. “For many local retail businesses, the holiday shopping season is a make-or-break time, and Americans who want to support their communities and the economy should remember to shop small.”

There are Shawnee shop owners excited about the opportunity to shine that day; customers need only look.

“Small Business Saturday has grown every year, and we are very proud to sponsor the promotion,” said NFIB’s Duggan said. “Small Business Saturday is a very important day to recognize small business owners. We hope that more Americans participate on Saturday and they keep small businesses in mind throughout the year.”