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Thanksgiving excessive consumption: Americans throw $5.6 billion into record-breaking Black Friday, sparking a bargain frenzy and changing retail trends

Thanksgiving Day in the United States witnessed an unprecedented shopping spree, with Americans collectively pouring $5.6 billion into purchases, marking a notable 5.5% increase from the previous year, according to CBS News. As the holiday season kicks off, the retail landscape finds itself in the throes of a competitive battleground, with retailers strategically focusing on merchandise priced at $35 and below. This strategic move sets the stage for what experts predict to be one of the most economical shopping periods in years, spanning a diverse range of products, including TVs, toys, dresses, and sporting goods.

In the race to entice consumers, retailers are fiercely competing to make items more budget-friendly than ever before. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), toys, games, and hobby gear are expected to be more affordable this holiday season for the first time since 2020. Additionally, sporting goods prices are experiencing a decline for the first time since 2018.

Shoppers are actively seizing the opportunity presented by these enticing discounts. Real-world examples include Theresa Forsberg, who secured a 55-inch TV for just $188 at Walmart. Beyond electronics, consumers like Jill Lizzo are discovering bargains on everyday items, offering financial relief amid the challenges of rising rent costs.

Deloitte's survey indicates a significant shift toward virtual holiday shopping. Black Friday online purchases are expected to surge by 40%, with consumers planning to spend $169 online, compared to $138 for in-store purchases, marking a departure from traditional in-store shopping patterns.

( Unsplash- Ashkan Forouzani published on November 23, 2018)

Black Friday Shopping Frenzy

Diverse Purchases: From sought-after toys like Barbie dolls and Disney Little People to the latest video games and cutting-edge tech gadgets, Americans engaged in a diversified shopping spree, reflecting a wide spectrum of consumer interests.

Changing Shopping Habits: Evolving consumer behaviors are evident in the decline of curbside pickup and the rise of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options. BNPL accounted for about $390 million in online Thanksgiving shopping, signaling a significant year-over-year increase, with expectations soaring to $782 million on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Record-High Shopping Season

Economic Outlook: Despite some prices experiencing a dip, the overall price index climbed to 3.2% year-over-year in October 2023. Retail experts foresee a record-breaking shopping season, anticipating Americans to spend between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion during the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year's period, reflecting a minimum 3% increase from the previous year, according to the National Retail Federation 2023 survey. 

Online Spending Surge: A substantial portion of this extravagant spending, ranging from $273.7 billion to $278.8 billion, is projected to originate from online purchases, showcasing an enduring preference for virtual shopping.

The impact of inflationary pressures on rising commodity prices is prompting 42% of consumers to express their intention to increase spending this year compared to the previous one, as per findings from the ICSC Holiday Intentions Survey.


In navigating the intricacies of a post-pandemic landscape, coupled with higher-than-normal inflation, the stage is set for a fierce battle in holiday shopping. While the allure of discounts is irresistible, consumers are advised to strike a balance between the thrill of seasonal spending and making prudent financial decisions, ensuring a festive yet financially responsible holiday season. As Black Friday continues to unfold, analysts predict that this year's spending spree may rewrite the record books and redefine the future of holiday shopping trends.

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Tags: #Inflation #BlackFriday #Thanksgiving #Holiday #Shopping


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