Consumer Reports Poll: Forty-four Percent of Americans Plan to Shop on Black Friday

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A third of Americans plan to shop on Cyber Monday

Consumer Reports December Issue

Even though more than half of Americans want nothing to do with shopping on Black Friday, it’s still an annual ritual that maintains a lot of loyal participants, defying years of rumors of its inevitable demise.

The annual shopping bonanza known as Black Friday will once again attract millions of bargain hunters.  A whopping 44 percent of Americans, or roughly 76 million people, will be shopping this year, according to a Consumer Reports poll.

Almost the same number (43 percent) said they went shopping on Black Friday last year, the poll revealed. This year, however, there will be fewer people in stores. Twenty-seven percent said they planned to shop at brick and mortar stores, down from 31 percent who said they did last year. An equal 27 percent said they planned to shop online, up from 24 percent last year. 

“Even though more than half of Americans want nothing to do with shopping on Black Friday, it’s still an annual ritual that maintains a lot of loyal participants, defying years of rumors of its inevitable demise,” said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports senior projects editor and resident shopping expert.

When asked what they planned to shop for on Black Friday, 71 percent said clothing. Other popular categories included:

  • A small personal electronic device like a tablet or smartphone (42 percent)
  • A major home electronic device like a flat screen TV or computer (39 percent)
  • Video game console or games (35 percent)
  • A small home appliance like a stand mixer or blender (26 percent)
  • Jewelry (24 percent)
  • A major home appliance like a dishwasher or washing machine (10 percent)

Among all Americans, 57 percent avoid Black Friday and agree that it’s mostly hype and hassle. Only 23 percent feel positively about it – including 9 percent who love it and say they’ve gotten great deals. However, the doubters could be missing out. Of those who went shopping on Black Friday last year, more than half  (53 percent) said the deals were as good as they hoped.

Cyber Monday will continue to trail Black Friday in interest. This year, 32 percent of Americans plan to shop on the Monday after Thanksgiving – virtually unchanged from the 33 percent who did so last year.

Consumer Reports 2016 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 CR.org.

Consumer Reports Poll Methodology:
The Consumer Reports National Research Center designed a survey to explore general sentiment and shopping behaviors for the upcoming 2016 winter holiday season. In October and November 2016, ORC International administered the phone survey to a nationally representative sample of over 2000 randomly selected adult U.S. residents; 84% 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 for holiday shoppers is +/- 2.4% at the 95% confidence level. Fifty-three percent of the sample was female, and the median age was 44 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 food and product safety, financial reform, health reform, and many other issues. The organization has advanced important policies to prohibit predatory lending practices, combat dangerous toxins in food, and cut hospital-acquired infections. 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. It also works to enact pro-consumer laws and regulations in Washington, D.C., in statehouses, and in the marketplace. An independent nonprofit, Consumer Reports accepts no advertising, payment, or other support from the companies that create the products it evaluates.

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James McQueen
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