Fewer Consumers Shopping in Stores on Black Friday

Fewer people will be partaking in the holiday shopping rush known as Black Friday this year, according to a new Bankrate survey. Sales are still expected to be up from last year by about 2.6 percent, so most retailers shouldn’t fret; however, fewer consumers – just 23 percent, down from 2014’s 28 percent – intend on physically visiting stores.

According to the financial services and research company, this is due to several factors – one of which is the fact that Black Friday is now a weeklong or even multi-week shopping event, rather than one day of sales. Shelley Kohan, vice president of retail consulting at RetailNext, said:

“Two years ago, Black Friday was one day. Last year it was a weeklong event. This year it’s been a monthlong event. “A lot of Black Friday deals are already out there. They’ve been out there since the beginning of the month.”

Another factor is online shopping. Consumers may feel they can get holiday deals without dealing with the hectic atmosphere of the stores, especially with the online-centric Cyber Monday shopping day occurring several days after Black Friday itself. According to Bankrate’s survey, 26 percent of Americans intend to shop online on Black Friday, versus the 23 percent planning on visiting stores. 27 percent of U.S. adults stated they intended on shopping online on Cyber Monday, up from 25 percent in 2014.

Consumers are also projected to spend more than in the past – $300 in median spending, versus $200 in Bankrate’s 2014 survey. Interestingly, a small percentage of respondents say they plan on shopping on Thanksgiving itself – 15 percent say they will visit stores, and 15 percent plan on shopping online. This may be reflected by the fact that more stores are choosing to close on Thanksgiving – the Mall of America, Costco, Nordstrom, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and electronics store HHGregg being notable examples.

Read more on Bankrate: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/consumer-index/money-pulse-1116.aspx

Copyright for image: alexandralexey / 123RF Stock Photo

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