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Black Friday Anticipation High
30 Oct
The holiday season is well underway, and anticipation for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when eager shoppers line up for deals and discounts, is at an 8-year high, according to the Accenture Holiday Shopping survey.

Sixty-six percent of survey respondents plan to go shopping on Black Friday this year. Last year, only 55% planned to venture out to the stores on Black Friday. And people don’t just plan to shop in brick-and-mortar stores, either. Thirty-seven percent said they’d shop online, compared with 32% in 2013.

More and more stores are open for business on Thanksgiving Day itself, and 45% of folks said they would head to the store for some holiday shopping after their turkey dinners. Last year, only 38% had plans to shop on Thanksgiving Day. Stores that aren’t open on Thanksgiving Day often open in the wee hours of Black Friday, and of the respondents who said they would go shopping on Thanksgiving, 47% said they’d hit the shops between 6pm on Thursday and 5am on Friday.

When asked about their plans for holiday spending this year as compared to last, 25% said they planned to spend more. The average amount people plan to spend this season is $718. People planning to spend more may be motivated by having a little more money this year than last or because they feel sure of their standing at work; 28% of those with plans to spend more said their disposable income has risen since last year, and 22% said they have more job security this year.

Gift Cards Popular

Even if they have more income, more job security, and plan to dig deeper into their wallets this year, people still can’t resist a sale. Ninety-six percent of those surveyed said that their buying decisions would be influenced by discounts. Twenty-nine percent said that items would have to be discounted by at least half in order to convince them to buy.

Once the domain of those who couldn’t think of what to give loved ones, gift cards are now a perennially popular option. Fifty-seven percent of shoppers said they would be buying gift cards this year, making them the number-one item on shopping lists. This is good news for retailers, who often see more profit when those cards are redeemed. That’s because people are more likely to spend a little more than the amount on the card, rather than leaving a small balance on the card.

The Accenture Holiday Shopping survey was conducted online in September 2014 and answered by a representative sample of 500 people across the United States.

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