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Shoppers Get Early Start, Spend Less

WASHINGTON — Holiday shoppers started earlier but spent less per shopper over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to survey results released Sunday by the National Retail Federation here.

Total spending through Sunday was estimated at $57.4 billion, or $407.02 per shopper, down from $423.55 last year.

“Cold weather, unique promotions and unbeatable prices put millions of Americans in the mood to shop for holiday gifts this weekend,” said NRF President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Shay, in a statement. “Retailers’ late night and early morning promotions struck just the right chord for those hoping to kick off the holiday shopping season with friends and family.”

About one-quarter (25.4%) of holiday shoppers say they were at stores by 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving; and 37.3% were at stores by midnight, up from 28% last year.

Nearly six in 10 (57.5%) bought clothing and clothing accessories, 37.7% bought electronics, 34.5% bought toys, and 36.1% bought books, CDs, DVDs and video games. Additionally, 29.6% bought gift cards and 28.8% purchased food or candy.

Department stores were the most popular destination, attracting 54.2 of shoppers; 22.9% of shoppers said they conducting some holiday shopping in a supermarket or grocery store.

About 59 million shoppers said they shopped online over the weekend, or 42.1% of all shoppers.

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