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Black Friday Surveys Project Many Shoppers But Little Sales Growth

18 Nov, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

Two new Black Friday surveys — one from consumers and one from retailers — show a slowdown in spending overall, an uptick in spending online and a general expectation that electronics will be at the top of most shoppers’ lists.

A Maritz Research Retail Group consumer survey shows 41% of consumers will shop on Black Friday, with 17% undecided. Of those shopping Nov. 28, an average of 45% of their holiday budget will be spent, with clothes (23%) the only category beating out electronics (17%) for consumers’ dollars.

Big-box retailers were easily at the top of Maritz survey respondents’ first choice for destinations.

“By far, people are going to spend the majority of their budget at big box retailers,” said Tom Krause, director of strategic marketing for Maritz. “Shoppers are going to be choosier than ever.”

On the other side, a survey by BDO Seidman, LLP of leading American retailers shows merchandisers believe Black Friday sales will grow a disappointing 1.2%, with a marked slowdown of in-store shopping in favor of the Internet.

“There is still enormous growth potential in Internet sales, which remains a fairly new phenomenon,” said Ted Vaughan with BDO Seidman.

The survey, titled “Retail Company Survey,” shows half of retailers believe electronics will be the No. 1 performer for retailers. Only 12% of those surveyed believed Internet sales would be down this year.

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