Black Friday 2016: More shoppers, less spending

Black Friday by the numbers
Black Friday by the numbers

While more bargain hunters opened their wallets for Black Friday weekend this year, on average they spent a little less than in 2015.

More than 154 million consumers shopped in stores and online, which was about 3 million more than last year, according to a National Retail Federation survey released Sunday.

But the NRF, which tracks consumer visits and spending data, said those consumers also spent about $10 less on average -- about $290 this year compared to nearly $300 in 2015.

"It was a strong weekend for retailers, but an even better weekend for consumers, who took advantage of some really incredible deals," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a news release.

Related: America goes shopping: Crowds hit the stores for Black Friday 2016

NRF officials attributed the difference mostly to heavy discounting brought on by a "promotional environment" in stores. According to the organization, about 36% of shoppers this year said all of their purchases were on sale, compared to 32.5% last year.

And although Black Friday is still a big hit for brick-and-mortar deal seekers, shoppers are slowly but increasingly turning online.

The NRF data shows more than 108 million people shopped online over the weekend, about 5 million more than last year. Meanwhile, 99 million people said they shopped in stores, down 3 million from last year. The numbers, the organization noted, are not mutually exclusive.

Related: Gun sales boom on Black Friday

Online shopping during the holiday weekend is a multi-billion dollar business, according to Adobe, which tracks data from online purchases across the 100 biggest retailers. Shoppers spent $1.9 billion online on Thanksgiving Day and another $3.3 billion on Friday, according to Adobe.

Despite the big numbers over the weekend, there aren't too many shoppers who are finished making purchases this holiday season, according to NRF.

The NRF survey found that only 9% of consumers are done shopping, down from 11% last year. Nearly a quarter of those surveyed haven't done any shopping yet, the data showed.

The NRF survey asked 4,330 consumers about their Thanksgiving weekend shopping plans and was conducted Friday and Saturday. It did not report how much in total the 154 million shoppers spent. The survey has a 1.5% margin of error.

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