REUTERS: About 38 per cent of American consumers plan to shop on Black Friday this year, and six in 10 of those shoppers anticipate making at least half of their holiday purchases on that day, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Thursday (Nov 15).
The day after Thanksgiving, which this year falls on Nov 23, has been regarded as the traditional start of the holiday shopping season although deals and promotions are being unveiled earlier every year.
Fifty-nine percent of the people who plan to shop Black Friday deals intend to finish at least half of their holiday shopping that day, the Nov 7-13 poll showed.
The poll showed 37 per cent of consumers intend to do their shopping primarily or totally online, while 16 percent expect to shop primarily or totally in a physical store.
"I'm doing all of my Black Friday shopping online because I don't want to get killed!" Joseph Adetayo, 71, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland joked about the crush of shoppers who have historically flooded stores in search of bargains.
"The crowds are too crazy, and this (shopping online) just makes my life easier," said Adetayo, one of the 1,819 people who responded to the poll.
The retired computer programer has eight grandchildren, four children and a wife. He said that, as his family grows, he will spend more Amazon.com Inc's and Walmart Inc's websites for toys, electronics and clothes and at Nike.com and Payless.com for shoes. He has a budget of US$1,200, up from US$900 last year.
Free delivery is the biggest draw for online shopping, followed by coupons and door-buster deals, the poll showed.
American consumers are less interested in buying clothing, jewelry, electronics, toys and gift cards this year compared to years past, the survey found.
But they are eager to spend more on food. Retailers including Walmart, Target Corp , Kroger and Amazon have been spending heavily to get consumers to buy more groceries online.
By 2022, online grocery shopping could be a US$100 billion industry, and as many as 70 per cent of consumers could be doing a portion of their food shopping online, according to a report co-authored by the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll surveyed 1,819 adults with a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 3 percentage points for the entire group and 4 points for Black Friday shoppers.