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Retail Federation: Blu-ray Players Among Coveted Black Friday Deals

19 Nov, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Beset with economic concerns and curtailed shopping plans, thrifty consumers are eying this year’s day-after Thanksgiving Black Friday retail sales day for discounts on electronics and home entertainment, according to a new report.

The survey, conducted by BigResearch.com for The National Retail Federation, found that consumers would shop in similar gift categories as last year, with clothing and accessories (57.4%) and books, CDs, DVDs and video games (55.6%) topping the list. Other popular gifts include new video game systems, Blu-ray Disc players and other electronic items (30.0%), toys (41.6%), gift cards/gift certificates (53.5%), personal care or beauty items (20.8%) and jewelry (19.3%).

The report said 72% of 8,758 consumers polled Nov. 5-11 had completed less than 10% of their shopping, compared with 2.2% of shoppers who said they had completely finished.

Unlike in previous years, the survey found that 41.5% of shoppers would primarily use their debit/check card to pay for holiday items this year, compared to 40.1% last year.

The number of Americans who plan to pay with cash is up slightly this year, with 22.8% of shoppers using cash to make purchases, compared to 22.1% last year. People using credit cards as a primary payment method dipped slightly (31.5% vs. 32.3% last year), while personal checks are becoming nearly nonexistent (4.3%).

“Americans may be hesitant to purchase expensive gifts this holiday season, but personal and practical gifts will resonate most with shoppers,” said Tracy Mullin, president and CEO of the NRF. “Though many companies have already been featuring substantial sales and discounts, retailers may still have a few tricks up their sleeves to attract and entice holiday shoppers.”

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