Black Friday/Cyber Monday: Retailers Seek to Outperform Last Year

Major survey indicators point to a healthier Black Friday and Cyber Monday for retailers this year, with Americans expected to spend more on early holiday specials, both online and in stores.
Up to 152 million people plan to shop on Black Friday weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), higher than the 138 million people who planned to do so last year, according to a preliminary Black Friday shopping survey from the National Retail Federation conducted by BIGresearch.
The retail group’s survey found that 74 million people say they will definitely hit the stores, while another 77 million are waiting to see if the bargains are worth braving the anticipated crowds.
Major retailers have already announced that they will be opening earlier this year, many on Thanksgiving day, instead of the day after, traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year.
“We fully expect to see excited shoppers as early as midnight at stores around the country, as many holiday shoppers would rather stay up all night to take advantage of retailers’ Black Friday deals rather than set their alarm to wake up the next morning,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
In another survey indicator, the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, Americans said they will spend an average of $831 on gifts this season, $121 more than last year — although most will continue with money saving strategies. Cyber Monday following Thanksgiving weekend, has become one of the busiest online shopping days of the holiday season.
American Express reported that most respondents (52 percent) said they are planning to shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, up 37 percent over last year.
Overall, U.S. shoppers expect to increase holiday spending by 17 percent, compared to last year, AmEx reported.
Despite the increase in spending, consumers are not as likely to dip into their savings (12 percent, compared to 18 percent in 2010), and less are planning to carry balances on their credit cards (29 percent, compared to 33 percent in 2010).
Additionally, 13 percent of consumers say they will tap into their rewards points to help pay for holiday gifts, AmEx reported
“Consumers are savvier than ever, and they have memorized the holiday retail narrative,” said Pam Codispoti, executive vice president and general manager, Consumer Card Services, American Express. “We’re continuing to see consumers employ a range of tactics to stay within budget and, at the same time, maximize their gift-giving potential.”
American Express also reported that nearly four out of ten (38 percent) of consumers plan to shop for holiday gifts at small, independently owned retailers by participating in the second annual Small Business Saturday on November 26.

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