The trade group says that the influx of shoppers over the Black Friday weekend was reported

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A customer browses shoe products at a Macy’s store during Black Friday sales on November 25, 2022 in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Cana Betancourt | Good pictures

According to the National Retail Federation, a record number of holiday shoppers — 196.7 million people — went from Thanksgiving to Cyber ​​Monday.

The industry group said Tuesday that the number topped last year’s holiday weekend tally of 179 million votes. The NRF, which began tracking the number in 2017, predicted 166.3 million votes this year.

The group did not estimate spending over the weekend, but said sales were on track to meet its forecasts6% to 8% growth in holiday sales from a year ago. Some of that increase will come from inflation.

Figures from Adobe Analytics show that online spending hit record highs during key days of the holiday shopping weekend. Black Friday sales reached $9.12 billion and Cyber ​​Monday sales reached $11.3 billion, according to the firm, which tracks sales on retailers’ websites.

But the wholesale sales and high number of holiday shoppers could be the result of a variety of factors. This may indicate that consumers are willing to buy — but only if the items are deeply discounted. This could mean a return to the pre-pandemic schedule of holiday shopping, with people focusing on buying their gifts in the final rush before Black Friday and Christmas Day.

Or it could mean a more challenging 2023. If Americans cut savings rates, run up large balances on credit cards or finance shopping sprees with ‘Buy Now Pay Later,’ they’ll have less to spend in the coming months.

Retailers have offered a more cautious holiday outlook. Walmart He’s talked about customers ditching favorites and trading up for cheaper proteins like hot dogs and peanut butter. target Lowering its forecast for the holiday quarter. And Best buy He said customers are more interested in shopping during sales events.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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