Early indications at the macro level for holiday sales have been promising, with Thanksgiving weekend outperforming expectations, and a strong start to sales of book format products in November, according to two reports released recently.

A record 200.4 million consumers shopped over the five day Thanksgiving weekend, according to the annual survey from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, easily beating NRF’s expectations of 182 million shoppers, and last year's record 196.7 million shoppers.

Brick and mortar vs. online didn't move much, according to the report.  There were 121.4 million brick-and-mortar shoppers, down slightly from 122.7 million in Thanksgiving weekend 2022, and 134.2 million online shoppers, up slightly from 130.2 million in 2022.

November book sales also outperformed expectations, according to BookScan numbers released by Circana Books.  Although book sales have been down substantially throughout the year, November unit sales were nearly flat year over year, down just 0.2% vs. November 2022.  Year-to-date sales were pulled up by November's numbers, and are down 3% through the end of November.

Overall during the holiday season so far, book sales are up 1% in units and 5% in MSRP value, according to the report, outperforming general merchandise sales tracked by Circana.