- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Most working-age Americans still believe the day after Thanksgiving is best for finding deals and don’t want Black Friday sales events to occupy the entire month, according to a new survey.

Consumer research firm Attest conducted an online poll of 1,000 consumers Nov.11-13 and found that 58% still believe in Black Friday for shopping deals. It also found “fatigue … for monthlong Black Friday bonanzas,” with a combined 69% of respondents saying sales events should be limited to one to three days.

Overall, 46% said they will buy something on Black Friday and 22% will spend between $300 and $500. One-third of respondents said they were uncertain about shopping in person that day.

Attest CEO Jeremy King cited supply chain disruptions and COVID-19 concerns to explain why 58% of respondents said they plan to buy products both in-person and online this year, with a quarter purchasing items exclusively online and just 17% planning to shop solely in-store.

“While this data doesn’t necessarily point to a reduction in crowds, it does show that Americans have become dependent on e-commerce and quite like having the option to skip lines and buy online,” Mr. King told The Washington Times.

He said it’s noteworthy that 65% of respondents, most of them millennials, said they feel comfortable shopping in-store regardless of the pandemic.

“What’s even more interesting is that in light of the ongoing pandemic a sizable majority of nearly two-thirds say they are ‘comfortable’ shopping in-person, while only 17% cite being apprehensive about journeying into brick-and-mortars,” Mr. King said.

He noted that 41% of consumers surveyed still want to see masks required in stores and 31% want retailers to limit the number of shoppers allowed inside at the same time.

The survey also found that 42% started their Christmas shopping earlier than usual due to fears that global supply chain issues will result in empty shelves closer to the winter holidays.

Retailers already have taken note of this reduced consumer interest in waiting until Black Friday to make holiday purchases on a single day of in-store discounts.

The Times reported Nov. 11 that ongoing pandemic factors and global supply shortages have transformed Black Friday this year into a monthlong savings event, with major retailers like Target and Walmart rolling out their traditional Black Friday deals weeks in advance.

American consumers are widely expected to spend a record amount online this holiday season, even if they also do some of their shopping in-store.

Attest’s poll released Tuesday found that 1 in 5 consumers will not buy any products on Black Friday.

For those seeking in-store deals on Black Friday, technology products will be the target of 69% and clothing of 68% of survey respondents. Additionally, 51% of respondents will seek home goods, 39% will pursue beauty products and 30% plan to hunt for kitchen appliances.

Attest said consumers planning to shop on Black Friday itself were most likely to select Walmart as their top choice for sales, followed by Amazon, Target and Macy’s.

• Sean Salai can be reached at ssalai@washingtontimes.com.

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