Thousands of Southern Californians are expected to head to malls today to continue the tradition of searching for Black Friday bargains on the customary start of the Christmas shopping season.
The Thanksgiving Weekend Expectations survey conducted for the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, found that among the 60.1 percent who said they would or might go shopping on Thanksgiving weekend, 68.2 percent said they would shop on Black Friday, translating to 95.51 million shoppers, far outpacing Saturday (42.9 percent, 60.04 million), Sunday (21.6 percent, 30.28 million) and Thanksgiving (18.3 percent, 25.59 million).
The survey of 6,593 customers conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics between Nov. 3-10 has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percent.
Retailers will need to give shoppers reasons to eschew shifting to a “wait-and-see mentality” on Black Friday, according to National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay.
“Consumers today want more than just discounts they’ve been showered with since the start of the recession; they want exclusive offerings and a good reason to spend their discretionary budgets,” Shay said.
“We are positive retailers have a few tricks up their sleeve that will draw the customers to their stores and websites, deciding deals are worth it after all.”
The Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey found that consumer enthusiasm for Black Friday shopping has reached its highest level in eight years, with 66 percent of respondents saying they were likely to shop on Black Friday, compared to 55 percent in 2013 and 44 percent in 2013.
The top reasons for shopping on Black Friday were taking advantage of the special “doorbuster” deals (38 percent) and the belief the best deals of the holiday season will be available on Black Friday (29 percent).
Liking being part of the excitement was cited by 18 percent, tradition by 17 percent and just wanting to get holiday shopping over with by 16 percent.
The survey found that the top choices on consumers’ shopping lists are gift cards (57 percent), apparel (56 percent), and toys (42 percent). The online survey of 500 customers was conducted in September.
For the first time in the 11-year history of the National Retail Federation’s Holiday Top Toy Survey, Barbie dolls failed to top choices for girls as 20 percent of parents polled said they would buy Elsa dolls and other merchandise associated with the Disney animated musical “Frozen” for the girls in their lives.
“It is no surprise that Disney’s ‘Frozen’ has taken the top seat as children have had it on their minds as far back as Halloween,” said Pam Goodfellow, the consumer insights director of Prosper Insights & Analytics.
Barbie was second at 16.8 percent, followed by generic dolls; dolls from Mattel’s Monster High franchise; American Girl dolls; Lego construction toys; an Apple iPad or other tablet computers; products from Hasbro’s My Little Pony line; items associated with the Disney animated series “Doc McStuffins”; and apparel.
Lego products again topped the top toy choices for boys. Cars and trucks were second followed by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures; video games; Hot Wheels cars; the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 video game systems; Transformers figures and remote-controlled vehicles. Marvel action figures and the Apple iPad or other tablet computers tied for 10th.