WASHINGTON D.C.: The National Retail Federation (NRF) has reported that even as inflation has negatively affected many household budgets, heavy discounts during the Thanksgiving weekend encouraged more Americans to go shopping.
During the five-day holiday period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, a record 196.7 million shoppers made purchases in stores and online, above the NRF's expectations of 166.3 million and up more than 9 percent from last year.
"The Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend is a tradition treasured by many American families. As inflationary pressures persist, consumers have responded by stretching their dollars in any way possible," said NRF President Matthew Shay, as quoted by Reuters.
On average, consumers spent $325.44 on holiday-related purchases over the the weekend, a rise of about 8 percent from last year, the NRF said.
"It is important to note that while some may claim that retail sales gains are the result of higher prices. It is consumer demand that is driving growth," Shay added.
The group stressed that clothing, toys, video games and electronics witnessed strong sales, as shoppers found discounts to be better than expected.
According to figures released by Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online sales across all forms of payments, U.S. retail sales increased some 11 percent between Thanksgiving Day and the weekend following the holiday.