Ready, set, shop: More than a third of Americans to buy on Black Friday: poll

(Reuters) - About 38 percent 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.

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 percent 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 Inc's AMZN.O and Walmart Inc's WLM.T websites for toys, electronics and clothes and at and for shoes. He has a budget of $1,200, up from $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 TGT.N, Kroger KR.N and Amazon have been spending heavily to get consumers to buy more groceries online.

By 2022, online grocery shopping could be a $100 billion industry, and as many as 70 percent 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.

Reporting by Melissa Fares and Chris Kahn in New York; additional reporting by Siddharth Cavale and Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman