NEW YORK (TheStreet) --An estimated 137 million Americans will shop this weekend, 74% of which will be out shopping today, Black Friday. National Retail Federation CEO Matt Shay appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Box" this morning to discuss the unofficial American retail holiday and the state of the consumer.
"The survey work we have done already indicates we will have record breaking crowds this year. We are looking for a really strong holiday," Shay said.
Furthermore, 59% of all Americans will shop over the course of the next three days, he noted. Shay expects sales to be up and consumers to spend more than last year.
"For the first time ever we are seeing 25% of people saying they plan to spend more this year than last year," he said.
However, the rise in consumer spending could be hindered by the incoming President Trump administration and potential tariffs on imports.
"When you have a consumer economy that imports over $2 trillion worth of goods, driven by consumer spending, if you tax imports, that's going to create real challenges for consumers," Shay explained.
That said, another possible Trump policy could stand to benefit the retail sector.
"No one pays higher corporate taxes than retailers. We are very optimistic that we will get some kind of tax reform done," Shay said.