Anticipation of Deep Thanksgiving Week Discounts May Have Driven Consumers to Hold Back

NPD Holiday Shopping Bag 2017 Weekly Report: Week 3

The week before Thanksgiving brought slowed growth for some categories, and steeper declines for others, resulting in a slight overall decline in the third week of November compared to the same week in 2016. Despite this week’s losses, U.S. retail sales for the first three weeks of the season are still up 4 percent across the key general merchandise categories in NPD’s Holiday Shopping Bag.

Week Ending November 18, 2017

Overall Performance

  • Dollar sales in the third week of November 2017 were 1 percent lower than they were in the third week of November 2016.
  • Prestige Beauty, Athletic Footwear, and Small Home Appliances each displayed dollar sales growth exceeding 5 percent.
  • Overall, average price increases were not enough to offset unit sales declines.

Top Performing Categories

  • Women’s Apparel (driven by Outerwear)
  • Sport Leisure Footwear
  • Stereo Headphones
  • Kitchen Appliances (driven by Cookers)
  • Home Automation (driven by Security & Monitoring)

“The consumer is trained to expect deeper discounts, and despite early Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions that helped keep some of the momentum going, they plan and wait for them to intensify on the key shopping holidays,” said NPD’s Chief industry Analyst, Marshal Cohen. “Activity over the peak shopping period appears to have perked up from last year but many consumers continued to self-gift, barely scratching the surface of their holiday shopping, so the rise in sales may not be as steep as expected.”


Information is collected from a panel of leading retailers that provide weekly point-of-sale data covering in-store and online sales of Apparel, Toys, Technology, Athletic Footwear, Prestige Beauty (Fragrance, Makeup, Skincare), Small Home Appliances, and Office Supplies.

Note: Shifts may occur from week to week in reporting results, due to retailer reporting updates.

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