Not since 2007 has Thanksgiving come this early, but the calendar creep won't keep millions of eager holiday shoppers from visiting their favorite stores and websites over Black Friday weekend.
According to a preliminary Black Friday shopping survey, up to 147 million people plan to shop Black Friday weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), a slight decrease from the 152 million who planned to do so last year. Specifically, 71 million said they would shop and another 76 million said they would wait and see what retailers have in-store that weekend.
"Though the Black Friday tradition is here to stay, there's no question that it has changed in recent years: already there is a tremendous amount of excitement and anticipation surrounding retailers' Thanksgiving and Black Friday promotions," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "It's critical for retail companies to constantly evolve as consumers do, and right now shoppers want great deals, good value, and convenience—exactly what we’re seeing with this season’s late and early openings, price-matching, layaway, and mobile offerings."
Though holiday sales announcements are hard to miss, there are a few ways people prefer to keep track of retailers' promotions. Half (49.5 percent) will keep up with advertising circulars throughout the holiday season and three in 10 (30.5 percent) say they will use television advertisements to stay up-to-date with upcoming sales and events. There are also a growing number of Americans who prefer to see things digitally; 26.8 percent will follow retailers' websites, and 31.4 percent will track emails from retailers in order to get the latest holiday announcements.
"The days of waking up Thanksgiving morning to find out what retailers' Black Friday promotions will be has transitioned into an ongoing dialogue between companies and their customers starting days in advance," said BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. "Through sites like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, company blogs, emails and mobile apps, consumers can connect with their favorite retailers like never before."
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