More consumers plan to shop on Black Friday: survey
SAN FRANCISCO |
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A higher number of consumers plan to go shopping on Black Friday this year, the unofficial kickoff to the holiday shopping season, according to a survey released on Wednesday.
Some 16 percent of respondents said they'd begin their holiday shopping the day after U.S. Thanksgiving this year, up from 10 percent in 2007 and 2008 and an earlier high of 13 percent in 2006, according to a holiday spending survey from the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs.
The projected rise in Black Friday shoppers is due to consumers' awareness that inventory levels are lower this year, so coveted merchandise may run out early, said ICSC's spokeswoman Erin Hershkowitz.
Last year, retailers worked to clear out too-high inventory levels with deep discounts intended to lure spending-averse shoppers.
Industry experts have been cautious in their view of the holiday season, a crucial period for retail profits, in the wake of a disastrous 2008 and mixed signals on whether the U.S. economy is recovering.
The ICSC has forecast holiday sales to rise about 1 percent to 2 percent this year in one of the more bullish predictions.
"ICSC Research thinks the holiday spending performance will be better than these pre-season consumer expectations, which is often the case following business cycle turning points in the economy," said Michael Niemira, ICSC's director of research and chief economist, in a statement.
The survey found that consumers are planning to spend an average of $543 on gifts and another $133 on gift cards this holiday -- compared to year-ago figures of $533 for gifts and $173 for gift cards.
The survey, which polled 1,000 adults across the United States between October 29 and November 1, has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
(Reporting by Alexandria Sage; Editing Bernard Orr)
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