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Two Thirds of Black Friday Weekend Shoppers Buying for Themselves


Adults are as likely to shop in stores on Black Friday as they are the weekend after

  • 28% plan to shop Black Friday
  • 29% on the Saturday or Sunday

Black Friday may kick-off the holiday shopping season, but not everybody's out to buy gifts. Of the half of Americans who plan on shopping in stores or online over the Black Friday weekend, 66 percent say they'll be shopping for themselves according to the latest Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll.

The day after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as Black Friday, is not the only important shopping day of the holiday weekend. While 28 percent of adults plan to shop in-stores on Black Friday, just as many (29%) say they'll be shopping on Saturday or Sunday afterwards. Overall half (53%) of adults expect the deals to be just as good in-stores as online this year.

The Black Friday weekend shopping list for consumers includes:

  • clothing (71%)
  • electronics (70%)
  • video games and accessories (46%) — most popular electronic items
  • toys (56%)
  • gift cards (48%)

Most of these items are intended to be purchased as gifts; however, the items where shoppers have the highest intent to self indulge are food or wine, electronics and clothing.

"The inner-shopper comes out in all of us around this time of year," said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports senior editor and resident shopping expert. "Retailers are doing everything they can to entice shoppers by offering not only Black Friday bargains but deals for the entire weekend."

In High Demand: Gizmos and Gadgets
Electronics are hot items of choice for Black Friday weekend. According to Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll, 70 percent of shoppers plan to purchase electronics making them a close second behind clothing (71%). Out of that 70 percent, three out of four (78%) will be purchasing electronics as a gift, while over half (55%) will also be gifting a new gadget to themselves. The electronics items consumers are looking to purchase include video games or accessories (46%), MP3 players or iPods (22%), video game systems (21%), laptops or netbooks (20%), digital cameras (16%), and flat panel TVs (13%).

Flat-Panel TV Purchases
Flat panel TVs continue to be one of the top electronic gifts shoppers look to grab each season. This year, about one-in-five adults (21%) plan to purchase one either during or after the holidays. More adults are considering purchasing a flat screen after the holidays (15%) than during them (9%).

When it comes to TVs, size matters. Over half (57%) of consumers considering purchasing flat screens TVs are looking at screens 40 inches or larger, which is up from last year when only 47 percent were considering these larger sizes. Men tend to gravitate towards larger-screened TVs, with 68 percent of them likely to buy a TV with a screen size of 40-inches or more compared to 46 percent of women.

Some of the reasons adults are considering purchasing a new flat panel TV include getting better picture quality or HD picture quality (77%), getting a TV that takes up less space (71%), replacing an older TV that is not a flat screen (70%), adding a flat screen TV to another room (36%), replacing an older flat screen TV (20%), or to have it for a major sporting event like the Super Bowl (31%).

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Gifts: A Timely Affair
"Consumers are determined to get as much value as they can for their money these days," said Greg Daugherty, Consumer Reports executive editor. "That means they are willing to put in extra time comparison shopping."

  • On average, consumers estimate they will spend 13 hours shopping for gifts this holiday season. The past two years, it was estimated to take about 11 hours.
  • Over the past four holiday seasons, about three-quarters of married women reported they do at least 75 percent of their household's gift shopping, with about 4 in 10 married women doing all of it.
  • Once the gifts are purchased, consumers estimate gift wrapping will take 2.3 hours. More than a third (37%) of consumers estimate they will spend three or more hours gift wrapping. Women (48%) are twice as likely as men (24%) to devote this amount of time.

The Holiday Shopping Cycle

  • As of November 8th, 36 percent of consumers have started their holiday gift shopping. Looking back over the last three years, the number of adults who started shopping by early November is trending downward, decreasing slightly each year from 45 percent in 2006.
  • Consistent with past years, few (3%) consumers have finished their gift shopping, with almost two-thirds (64%) not even started.

What's In the Box?
Most adults want their gifts to be a surprise. Three-quarters (75%) of adults said they loved to be surprised and less than a quarter (21%) want to know what they are getting.

Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll Methodology
The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a telephone survey of a nationally representative probability sample of telephone households. 1,001 interviews were completed among adults aged 18+. Interviewing took place over November 5-8, 2009. The margin of error is +/- 3.2% points at a 95% confidence level

The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for commercial or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is published by Consumers Union, an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. To achieve this mission, we test, inform, and protect. To maintain our independence and impartiality, CU accepts no outside advertising, no free test samples, and has no agenda other than the interests of consumers. CU supports itself through the sale of our information products and services, individual contributions, and a few noncommercial grants.

[SOURCE: Consumer Reports]

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