Thanksgiving weekend, the biggest shopping weekend in the U.S., is expected to set records this year in the number of consumers and retail sales volume, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.
The weekend includes Thursday's Thanksgiving Day, followed by Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, the usual Sunday shopping, and concludes with Cyber Monday that boosts online retail sales.
Approximately 164 million people in the U.S., out of the 326 million population, are forecast to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to the country's National Retail Federation (NRF) data.
This is up 10 million individuals, or 6.5 percent, compared to last year when 154 million people shopped during that weekend.
While 32 million people are expected to hit the stores on Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, 115 million Americans are projected to take advantage of the discounts on Black Friday, according to the NRF.
Around 71 million Americans are estimated to choose their local stores over big malls and retailers during Small Business Saturday, and an additional 35 million are expected to continue their shopping on Sunday.
And, 78 million people are projected to use their computers and mobile devices for shopping on Cyber Monday, the data showed.
- Holiday season sales to top $682 billion
Thanksgiving weekend is not only a national holiday in the U.S. with food, family and football every year; but also marks the peak period in retail sales over the holiday season.
The holiday season includes the months of November and December, during which total U.S. domestic sales represent roughly 30 percent of annual retail sales in the country.
In 2016, retail sales in the U.S. totaled $656 billion in those two months. This year, NRF projects an increase of 4 percent in this figure to reach $656 billion.
- Online sales to surpass $100 billion for first time
More people are expected to use the Internet during the holiday season this year, according to research company Adobe Digital Insights (ADI).
During November-December period of 2016, Internet sales in the U.S. totaled $94.4 billion.
This figure is projected to soar by 13.8 percent to reach $107.4 billion this year, ADI data showed.
It will also be the first time in history that total online sales will climb above the $100 billion threshold during the holiday period.
The majority of online sales will be made on Cyber Monday when companies offer discounts to attract consumers, ADI said.
Online sales on Cyber Monday is expected to reach $6.6 billion, a 16.6 percent increase compared to the same day last year when that figure was $5.66 billion.
- Thanksgiving dinner cost is lowest in 5 years
Despite the record expectations in sales during Thanksgiving weekend and the holiday season, the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner fell to its lowest level in five years, according to American Farm Bureau Federation.
A 16-pound (7.25 kilograms) Turkey costs $22.38 on average this year. This is $0.36 cheaper compared to last year, according to the federation.
In addition, the average cost of a Thanksgiving Day dinner table for 10 people this year is $49.12, which is $0.75 lower than the average of $49.87 in 2016, the data showed.
By Ovunc Kutlu in New York