Consumer Reports Poll: Fifty-five Percent of Americans will Shop During Black Friday Weekend

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Number of Black Friday weekend shoppers set to rise by 31 percent over last year; One-third plan to shop on Cyber Monday

Rumors of Black Friday’s demise are greatly exaggerated. Fifty-five percent of holiday shoppers will either be hitting the stores or surfing the web for gifts this weekend, according to a Consumer Reports poll. That’s an increase of 31 percent over last year.

More people will be out hitting the stores than shopping online this Black Friday weekend, the Consumer Reports poll revealed. Thirty-seven percent plan to shop in stores, while 34 percent plan to shop online.

This appears to be a bit a resurgent year for Black Friday. After some years of retreat, deal-hungry shoppers will be out in force this weekend,” said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports senior projects editor and resident shopping expert.

When asked why they planned to shop on Black Friday weekend, 83 percent said it was for the deals. Other popular reasons included:

  •     Want to get items before they go out of stock (46 percent)
  •     It’s the best time to get holiday shopping done (42 percent)
  •     Want to take advantage of the time off work to shop (35 percent)
  •     Enjoy the energy and excitement (34 percent)
  •     It’s tradition (34 percent)
  •     Enjoy the shopping competition (21 percent)

A key factor in driving the increase in Black Friday weekend shoppers could be the fact most people tend to enjoy the experience. In fact, 54 percent of those who shopped last year rated their experience as positive – including 12 percent who said it was very positive. Just 13 percent had a negative impression. When asked if last year’s deals were as good as they hoped, 52 percent said that they were.

Clothing will be the most popular category for Black Friday weekend, with 68 percent saying it will be on their shopping list. Forty-four percent will be looking for small electronics such as tablets or smartphones; 38 percent will be shopping for major electronics like TVs or computers; 33 percent will be shopping for video games or consoles; 27 percent will be shopping for small appliances, and 24 percent will be shopping for jewelry.

Cyber Monday will also see a bump in shoppers. This year, 33 percent of Americans plan to shop on the Monday after Thanksgiving – up from 23 percent who did so last year.

Consumer Reports 2015 Holiday Polls are a series of nationally representative surveys designed to measure consumer sentiment and shopping behavior during the holiday season. Additional results from the Consumer Reports poll can be found at ConsumerReports.org/Holidays.

Consumer Reports Poll Methodology:
The Consumer Reports National Research Center designed a survey to explore general sentiment and shopping behaviors for the upcoming 2015 winter holiday season. In November 2015, ORC International administered the survey via phone to a nationally representative sample of over 1000 randomly selected adult U.S. residents; 77% will be shopping this holiday season. The data were statistically weighted so that respondents in the survey were demographically and geographically representative of the U.S. population. The margin of error is +/- 3.09% at the 95% confidence level. Fifty-three percent of the sample was female, and the median age was 43 years old.

About Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest and most trusted nonprofit, consumer organization working to improve the lives of consumers by driving marketplace change. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has achieved substantial gains for consumers on health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other issues. The organization has advanced important policies to cut hospital-acquired infections, prohibit predatory lending practices and combat dangerous toxins in food. Consumer Reports tests and rates thousands of products and services in its 50-plus labs, state-of-the-art auto test center and consumer research center. Consumers Union, a division of Consumer Reports, works for pro-consumer laws and regulations in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace. With more than eight million subscribers to its flagship magazine, website and other publications, Consumer Reports accepts no advertising, payment or other support from the companies whose products it evaluates.

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James McQueen
Consumer Reports
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