U.S. Thanksgiving weekend shopping moved online, retail group finds

More U.S. shoppers reported making purchases online over the Thanksgiving weekend than the number who actually visited bricks-and-mortar stores, according to the National Retail Federation.

National Retail Federation sees ebullient U.S. consumer for 2015 shopping season

The U.S. National Retail Federation estimates more people shopped online on Black Friday and Saturday than in bricks-and-mortar stores. (Shutterstock)

More U.S. shoppers reported making purchases online over the Thanksgiving weekend than the number who shopped in stores, according to the National Retail Federation.

More than 103 million said they shopped online on Black Friday or the following day, the U.S. retail lobby group said. That compared to 102 million who made a trip to bricks-and-mortar store.

Data from analytics firm RetailNext seemed to show flat customer traffic Thursday on U.S. Thanksgiving and on Black Friday in bricks and mortar stores. Its data showed spending per shopper in stores was down by 1.4 per cent.

Average spending per person over the weekend totaled $299.60 US, with about 76 per cent of the spending on gifts, according to the NRF.

In addition to the boost in online spending, the NRF found that people aged 18-34 were more likely to be active deal-seekers over the weekend. 

Its findings are based on a survey of 4,281 consumers conducted Nov. 27 and 28 by Prosper Insights & Analytics for NRF.

The National Retail Federation said this year's sales number can't be compared to last year's because the methodology has changed.

But it said it expects that pent-up consumer demand and low gasoline prices will boost this year's holiday spending in the U.S. by 3.7 per cent.