Millions in stores over Thanksgiving weekend, including Madison County residents

ALTON — Millions of shoppers nationwide will head into the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season this weekend, and the Riverbend is no exception.

Many big-box retailers, including local ones, continued the trend started with the COVID-19 pandemic of closing Thursday and opening early Friday.

Others – including Michael’s, Old Navy and Cabela’s/Bass Pro – were open Thursday but with reduced hours.

But it’s not just national channels.

Small Business Saturday is designed to encourage shoppers to visit local stores. In downtown Alton, it is held in conjunction with the annual Green Gif Bazaar, now in its 20th year.

The bazaar — which features eco-friendly and fair trade gift ideas, including many from local or regional artisans — will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at two locations, the Post Commons at 300 Alby St. and the Jacoby Arts Center, 627 E. Broadway.

There will also be information available on other small businesses and what they offer in the city centre.

In Jerseyville, shoppers and others can enjoy the annual Jerseyville Downtown Country Christmas Festival, which features a variety of activities. This year’s theme is “Our Christmas Story”.

The festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will take place around City Center Park, 120 E. Pearl St.

In Wood River, Small Business Saturday will be centered around Ferguson Avenue, with a dozen stores and boutiques offering a variety of items from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Wood River Public Library will be the host center for the event.

According to the National Retail Federation, approximately 166.3 million people plan to shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber ​​Monday. The figure is nearly 8 million more people than last year and is the highest estimate since NRF began tracking data in 2017.

“While there is much speculation about the impact of inflation on consumer behavior, our data tells us that this Thanksgiving holiday weekend will see robust in-store traffic with record numbers of shoppers. taking advantage of value pricing,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “We’re optimistic that retail sales will remain strong in the weeks ahead, and retailers are ready to meet consumers, but they want to buy great products at prices they want to pay.”

NRF forecast earlier this month that holiday sales in November and December would increase between 6% and 8% in 2021 to between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion. Last year’s holiday sales rose 13.5% from 2020 and totaled $889.3 billion, breaking previous records.

More than two-thirds (69%) of holiday shoppers plan to shop over Thanksgiving weekend this year, according to the survey. The top reasons consumers consider shopping are because offers are too good to ignore (59%), because of tradition (27%) or because it’s something to do (22%) during holidays.

Black Friday continues to be the most popular day to shop, with 69% (114.9 million) planning to shop then, followed by 38% (63.9 million) on Cyber ​​​​Monday. Of the 114.9 million Black Friday shoppers, 67% say they expect to visit stores, up from 64% in 2021.

Similar to 2020 and 2021, this year 60% of holiday shoppers had started browsing and buying for the season by early November. This consumer trend of earlier purchases has been accelerated by the pandemic. In 2019, 56% of holiday shoppers started shopping around this time.

“As consumers continue to save the bulk of their holiday shopping for later in November and December, some of that spending has shifted into October,” said Phil Rist, executive vice president of Prosper, who conducted the investigation. “This year, 18% of holiday shoppers made at least half of their holiday shopping. Although this figure is comparable to last year, it was only 11% ten years ago. »

Searching online (43%) remains the most popular source of inspiration for gifts, followed by friends and family (35%) and in a retail store (31%). The top five gift categories consumers plan to give are clothing (55%), followed by gift cards at 45%, toys at 37%, books/music/movies/video games at 33%, and food/sweets at 31%.

Gift cards remain a favorite gift item, with total spending expected to reach $28.6 billion, up from $28.1 billion in 2021. Similar to last year, holiday shoppers plan to purchase between three and four gift cards and spend an average of $51.47 per card ($165.87). per person). Consumers are most likely to buy a gift card for a restaurant (27%), a department store (26%) or a bank-issued gift card (25%). Another 10% plan to buy a food delivery service gift card like DoorDash or Uber Eats.

Best Toys 2022

Boys: 1. Lego, 2. Hot Wheels, 3. cars and trucks, 4. PlayStation, 5. video games, 6. Pokemon, 7. Nerf, 8. electric/remote control cars, 9. dinosaurs and 10. Xbox.

Girls: 1. Barbie, 2. doll, 3. LOL dolls, 4. Lego, 5. makeup, 6. Squishmallows, 7. American Girl and clothes (tied), 8. Disney related items, 9. doll and 10. cell phone and Magic Mixies (tied).

Source: National Retail Federation

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