SEATTLE — The National Retail Federation says about two-thirds of the shoppers this weekend plan to head out and do that shopping in a store. It's a big increase from 2020 when the pandemic kept so many people at home, opting for an online shopping experience.
The retail federation estimates 158 million shoppers will buy between Friday and Monday.
Retailers expect online sales to be strong all weekend, as well.
There are still a lot of concerns about the pandemic, and other parts of the country are dealing with rising COVID-19 cases, so it’s hard to say if that will impact shopping numbers. However, all indicators show people are ready to shop.
Many may try to do so early because they're concerned supply chain issues could put a premium on toys and other in-demand items.
“Retailers seem to be cautiously optimistic about inventory this year,” Katherine Cullen, senior director of industry and consumer insights at the National Retail Federation, said. “Of course, some of that consumers need to pay attention to things and it never hurts to check what a retailer is saying online or in their social channels to see what's available."
Cullen said stores have been carefully preparing to deal with the holiday season.
“They’ve been dealing with these supply chain disruptions since the start of the pandemic knowing that many of them were able to move up their timeline for bringing items into the country,” she said.
There was a line before the door opened at the Ballard Fred Meyer with many shoppers hoping to get half-priced socks. It’s an annual sale item at the store, and shoppers say they look forward to stocking up.