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Record number of shoppers expected during Thanksgiving weekend despite inflation

An estimated 166.3 million people are planning to shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday this year, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

The NRF said that is almost 8 million more people than last year, and this is the highest estimate since NRF began tracking this data in 2017.

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

But even though a record number of shoppers is expected this Thanksgiving weekend, many families have to be more conscious about their spending habits due to rising inflation.

Melissa Moll said she had to change her usual holiday shopping habits because of rising costs.

"I usually I don't have to get started so early in the year, and I did this here because I knew I wasn't going to be able to get like the exact things that everybody wanted," said Moll.

RetailMeNot surveyed shoppers ahead of the holidays and found that about half of shoppers say they'll buy fewer things this year due to inflation. RetailMeNot found that consumers will be spending 8% less than they did last year: $725 on average, compared to $786 last year.

The survey found shoppers are coping with inflation by buying fewer things, using more coupons, and buying more in bulk.

"I budget a lot. I try to do each paycheck a little bit at a time so that I only have to buy the big stuff when it comes down to it. And then I save up for Black Friday," said Moll. "Look for the deals. Go online. Search the coupons. Look what's going on. Get your list early... Budget, save up, anticipate it's gonna get a little higher because I don't think it's gonna go down."

And some shoppers make sure to remind themselves of the meaning behind the giving. 

"It's more of the experience of the holiday than it really is what you're getting," said Moll.

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.

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