Despite the tepid third-quarter sales reports from several retailers, Black Friday weekend 2015 could be a bit busier than last year’s, according to the National Retail Federation’s preliminary Thanksgiving weekend survey.
The survey estimates 135.8 million shoppers “definitely will or may shop” online or in the stores on either Thanksgiving, Black Friday or the following Saturday or Sunday, versus the 133.7 million shoppers in stores and online over the holiday weekend a year ago.
The NRF research, conducted with Prosper Insights & Analytics, polled 7,172 adults across the country, 18 years of age or older, from Nov. 3 to 10.
Of those, 28.3 percent said they will shop sometime during the Thanksgiving to Nov. 29 stretch; 30.4 percent said they might shop sometime during that period, and 41.3 percent said they would not shop at all during that period. NRF says Thanksgiving to Nov. 28 represents the biggest holiday shopping weekend of the year.
In total numbers, the NRF estimates that 65.5 million people will shop at some point during the Thanksgiving to Nov. 29 period; another 70.3 million might shop during that holiday stretch, and 95.4 million people have no intention to shop that period.
Recent weak third-quarter reports from Macy’s Inc., Dillard’s Inc., Nordstrom Inc. and Urban Outfitters Inc., among other retailers, suggest holiday 2015 will be a very tough and highly promotional period.
Black Friday will again be the busiest day of the four-day period, with 99.8 million estimated to come out then, says NRF. Another 66.5 million are expected to shop on Nov. 28, which, since 2010, has been referred to as “Small Business Saturday” and was started by American Express in 2010 via national radio and television advertising. Also, 31.4 million are seen shopping on Nov. 29, and 30.3 million are expected to shop Thanksgiving Day.
“The importance of Thanksgiving weekend to both retailers and consumers will never change. However, retailers have already given consumers several good reasons to start their holiday shopping earlier,” said NRF president and chief executive officer Matthew Shay. “We suspect early holiday shoppers could still be on the fence about whether or not to try their hand at finding online and in-store deals Thanksgiving weekend.”
“To make it even easier on holiday shoppers this year, we expect retailers will offer exclusive savings each day of the big weekend, including Thanksgiving and Black Friday-only deals and even extended Cyber Monday promotions throughout the week that follows,” continued Shay. “But this weekend isn’t the end-all-be-all; there will be several important weekends to keep an eye on before we wrap up the holiday season.”
Young adults still love Cyber Monday deals, said the NRF. According to the survey, 88.7 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds and 90.9 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds say “yes” or “maybe” when asked if they will shop online on Cyber Monday.