Consumers have been eagerly checking out the deals retailers are offering for the biggest shopping weekend of the year, with 59 percent of Americans — an estimated 137.4 million people — planning to or considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend.

Consumers have been eagerly checking out the deals retailers are offering for the biggest shopping weekend of the year, with 59 percent of Americans — an estimated 137.4 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. The numbers, which cover Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday plus Sunday, include both in-store and online shopping and are up from 58.7 percent or 135.8 million people last year.

“Black Friday remains one of the busiest shopping days of the year, with Americans planning to take advantage of aggressive in-store and digital promotions over the entire holiday weekend,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers know consumers are spreading out their holiday budgets to shop throughout the season. While there’s no doubt of the incredible promotions offered during the weekend, the holiday shopping season is long and consumers will look for and expect great deals down to the very last minute.”

The survey found that 21 percent of weekend shoppers planned to shop on Thanksgiving Day, nearly the same as last year’s 22 percent. But Black Friday remains the busiest day of the holiday weekend with 74 percent planning to shop that day, the same as in 2015. A substantial 47 percent were expected to shop on Saturday; of those shoppers, 24 percent say they would be doing so specifically to support Small Business Saturday, up from 22 percent last year. On Sunday, 24 percent expect to shop.

According to the survey, 77 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds and 76 percent of 25 to 34-year-olds planned to shop over the weekend. As with shoppers overall, Black Friday was the day most Millennial weekend shoppers planned to shop — 86 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds and 78 percent of 25 to 34-year-olds.

“Millennials continue to drive the trend of hitting the stores — both on their feet and online — as soon as the turkey is finished,” Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “Whether they were hoping to find gifts for themselves or for the folks on their lists, they do their research to find the best deals of the weekend and have allotted a large part of their holiday budget for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday spending.”

Cyber Monday is a Shop.org-coined term for the Monday after Thanksgiving, which is seen by many retailers, shoppers and the media, as the official kick-off to the online holiday shopping season.

CyberMonday.com, Shop.org's online shopping mall, highlights thousands of offers and deals from more than 900 retailers throughout the holiday season.

To date, CyberMonday.com has generated more than $69 million in sales. The website is open all year.

While not included in the 137.4 million total for the Thanksgiving weekend, 36 percent of consumers say they plan to shop online on Cyber Monday, up from the 34 percent in 2015.

Even Cyber Monday will get in on the Black Friday frenzy, with the 10-year-old website CyberMonday.com promoting “Deal of the Hour” offers from hundreds of retailers throughout the day on Black Friday.

Offers will include dollars off, free gifts with purchase and free shipping specials.

NRF will announce Cyber Monday promotions on Nov. 27. For more information, visit nrf.com.

You can reach Vicky O. Misa at (405) 214-3962.