Consumers are skipping the crowds on Black Friday.
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Only 23% of Americans plan on shopping in stores the day after Thanksgiving, according to a new survey from Bankrate.com (NYSE:RATE). That’s down from 28% when Bankrate asked the same question in 2014. Even though consumers are increasingly turning to e-commerce options, online shopping isn’t the main culprit. Rather, more Americans are no longer buying into the concept of one-day blockbuster sales.
“People are figuring out that Black Friday is no longer one of a few days when you’ll get discounts,” said Mike Cetera, personal finance analyst at Bankrate. “It’s a direct result of what retailers have been doing over the course of the last few years.”
Stores kicked off holiday discounts in early November, and shoppers have come to expect that sales will continue well after Black Friday. This marketing strategy has made the traditional day of shopping less important for bargain-hunters.
“Don’t wait for Black Friday. Shop early deals now,” reads a message on Best Buy’s (NYSE:BBY) website. Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) is also advertising pre-Black Friday deals on its website, and Macy’s (NYSE:M) was advertising a Thanksgiving sale on Monday morning.
More brick-and-mortar stores have opened their doors on Thanksgiving in recent years, too. But some have already reneged on that strategy after a lukewarm response from shoppers. According to Bankrate, a mere 15% of Americans will hit the stores after turkey. Even online shopping doesn’t appeal to most consumers on the holiday itself, with only 15% planning to spend money online.
Of course, there are still millions of people who are eager to go shopping during the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, both in-store and online.
The National Retail Federation estimates that 137.4 million people have plans to do holiday shopping on Thanksgiving weekend, a 1.2% increase over last year’s 135.8 million shoppers. Most customers intend to shop on Black Friday, while Saturday is the second-most popular shopping day of the weekend.
“Black Friday remains one of the busiest shopping days of the year, with Americans planning to take advantage of aggressive in-store and digital promotions over the entire holiday weekend,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.
Also, millennials still see Black Friday as a can’t-miss event. Bankrate found that 37% of shoppers between 18 and 25 years old will be in stores, and 38% will shop online. Young consumers likely want to experience Black Friday and the usual horde of shoppers that day, Cetera said. However, millennials will spend much less than other demographics.
Overall, Black Friday shoppers expect to shell out an average of $521.