Shoppers Revving Up for Thanksgiving Weekend Rush

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Regardless of the early sales and other promotions to get them into the stores earlier this year, more than 80% of U.S. consumers have most of their holiday shopping still to complete. Nearly half (46%) haven’t even bought a candy cane yet. Four out of five shoppers expect to spend as much as or more than they spent in 2013.

With the Black Friday weekend just seven days away, 48% of shoppers expect to visit a store on the Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday, down slightly from the 53% that braved the crowds last year. More than half (52%) plan to shop online. The average shopper plans to spend $295 over the weekend. The data come from an online survey of 1,000 consumers conducted for Deloitte.

The same percentage (13%) of shoppers expect to hit the stores on Thanksgiving Day as did last year, but spending is expected to rise 16% to an average of $86 per shopper. Among Thanksgiving Day shoppers, almost half will do their shopping before 5 p.m. and 40% plan to head to stores no later than 6:00 a.m. There are at least eight stores ready to welcome them.

Some 21% of consumers plan to shop online on Thanksgiving Day, with 48% taking the e-commerce route on Black Friday. About half of consumers (51%) plan to shop online on Cyber Monday, the day following the holiday weekend. The survey noted that 40% of online shoppers plan to make their purchases earlier this year to avoid the shipping delays many experienced last year.

Now that we know who is shopping, what about those who aren’t? According the survey, two-thirds of consumers “aren’t motivated” to shop on Thanksgiving Day, believing it’s more important to spend the day with family and friends. A full six in 10 want to avoid the Black Friday crowds, so they’ll be staying away too.

Virtually half (49%) of all consumers will spend at least two hours researching Black Friday deals. The top sources are retailer websites (33%), Black Friday deal websites (31%) and newspapers (27%). The use of newspaper ads to research deals has dropped five points compared with last year.

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