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A record 174 million Americans shopped this Thanksgiving weekend

Customers browse discounted footwear inside a shoe store during Black Friday.

Numbers from the five-day Thanksgiving  shopping weekend are in, and the turnout was much bigger than what even experts predicted.

According to the National Retail Federation, more than 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. That total is about 10 million more shoppers than originally estimated.   

“From good weather across the country to low unemployment and strong consumer confidence, the climate was right, literally and figuratively, for consumers to tackle their holiday shopping lists online and in stores,” said Matthew Shay, NRF President and CEO

When it comes to dollars, the average person spent $335.47 over the five-day period. From that amount, about $250 was spent on holiday gifts. Millennials were the biggest spenders, shelling out an average of $419.52.

Overall, the team at  Adobe Digital Insights estimates that Americans spent $2.87 billion on Thanksgiving Day, $5 billion on Black Friday, and $6.59 billion on Cyber Monday. So far, online shopping this holiday season has driven $50 billion in revenue.  Adobe predicts that this will be the first holiday season to break $100 billion in online sales.

Online reigns supreme

The NFR survey was conducted on Nov. 25-26, and questioned 3,242 consumers about their holiday shopping. When choosing to wait in line, or shop from the comfort of their home, most Americans chose the latter.

The NRF predicts that 58.4 million shopped solely online, compared with 51.6 million who shopped only in stores.

Still, a whopping 64.6 million took full advantage of enticing sales by shopping in stores and online. This group also spent the most money. Consumers who shopped in both places spent $82 more than those who only shopped online. Likewise, they spent about $49 more than consumers who only shopped in stores.

Overall, and not so surprising, the busiest in-store shopping day for the weekend was Black Friday, when 77 million consumers ventured out to find deals. The most popular day for online shopping was Cyber Monday, with 81 million people logging on to save on their holiday shopping.

Brittany Jones-Cooper is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. 

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