Imperial, California - The thrill of shopping on the Black Friday weekend may have lost its’ luster, more than half of Americans say they won’t be shopping at all, and three-quarters of people skipping stores say it’s because of crowds, according to Consumer Reports latest Black Friday Holiday Poll.
Consumer Reports found 53 percent of respondents said they don’t plan to shop anytime during the five-day stretch between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday. In fact, 39 percent of those surveyed said they’re less likely to shop at some point during the span this year vs. last, while only 10 percent said they are more likely to shop compared to 2013.
Among the 47 percent who plan to buy gifts, 38 percent will be doing so exclusively online compared to 30 percent who intend to shop strictly at stores. Despite the ubiquity of smart phones and tablets, only one-quarter of shoppers plan to use either or both for Black Friday purchases.
“The change in shopping behavior from mall to mouse has a lot to do with convenience. People hate crowds. Men, in particular, are eschewing stores for the Internet,” said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports’ senior project editor and resident shopping expert.
But there are other reasons why both males and females prefer to shop online—or not at all: They hate the idea of getting up early, would rather spend time with family (or doing something else), and feel the Black Friday deals are over-hyped.
In terms of when people intend to shop, 34 percent of respondents said Black Friday itself; 23 percent cited Cyber Monday; and 20 percent on either the Saturday or Sunday. Fifteen percent plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day.
As in past years, clothing and electronics again figure prominently on most shopping lists. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said they’ll be on the prowl for clothing; 51 percent TVs, tablets, gaming consoles, and other electronics devices; 38 percent home goods and appliances; and 14 percent jewelry.
While Black Friday may have lost some luster over the years, the weekend remains one of the biggest shopping periods on the calendar, with many consumers drawn to stores not only for the deals, which the faithful perceive to be the best of the year, but also because of tradition. Here’s a breakdown of why people still hit the stores on Black Friday weekend:
I get the best deals of the year (48 percent)
I want to get items before they’re out of stock (29 percent)
It’s tradition (29 percent)
I enjoy the energy of the holiday season (25 percent)
It’s the best time to get my holiday shopping done (20 percent)
I just want to get out of the house (16 percent)
I want to get my shopping done all at once (14 percent)
I want to take advantage of time off from work (12 percent)
I enjoy the shopping competition (9 percent)
It’s a good way to escape house guests (6 percent)
Consumer Reports 2014 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 www.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 2014 winter holiday season. In November 2014, GfK Custom Research administered the survey online to a nationally representative sample of 1,758 randomly selected adult U.S. residents. 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 +/- 2.5 % points at the 95% confidence level. 54 percent of the sample was female, and the median age was 46 years old.
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.