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Beyond Black Friday

Thanksgiving weekend shopping expected to soar

Almost 136 million shoppers are expected to make purchases online and in stores during Thanksgiving weekend.

Many consumers have already started their holiday shopping, but they’re leaving plenty of room for the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Almost 136 million shoppers will head online or to stores on Black Friday and the days that follow, the National Retail Federation predicts.

This is an increase from last year, when 133.7 million people shopped during Thanksgiving weekend.

Online holiday purchases are likely to drive big increases in the shipping sector this year. USPS expects to deliver 600 million packages during the peak season, up 10.5 percent from last year.

The weekend is expected to be especially popular among shoppers in their 20s and 30s.

“[They] love shopping in stores and online over Thanksgiving weekend for several reasons,” said retail analyst Pam Goodfellow. “For these adults, it’s … more about going out with friends, checking out the deals through their mobile phones and experiencing retailers’ night owl hours and perhaps making a dent in their shopping lists.”

Cyber Monday — the first Monday after Thanksgiving — also is expected to be a big draw for online shoppers.

Both online and brick-and-mortar retailers are using free shipping and other delivery offerings to entice shoppers.

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