Black Friday Bargains Bring Out Younger Shoppers Nationally, Locally

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The younger the consumer, the more likely that person will be shopping on Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, the traditional weekend launch of the holiday shopping season, says a recently released survey.

The consumer poll — conducted by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs — found that 84 percent of consumers between the ages of 20 and 32 are likely to compete for bargains during the holiday shopping weekend. The report reveals as the age increases, the percentage of shoppers decreases. The participation rate is as follows:

  • 73 percent of consumers between the ages of 33 to 48
  • 60 percent for those between ages 49 and 57
  • 44 percent of those between ages 58 to 67
  • 40 percent of those between ages 68 to 85.

“(The youngest consumers) are certainly more concerned with value based on what their incomes are at this time, so they’re going to be more interested in finding the deals,” says Jesse Tron, a ICSC spokesman. “Also, they’re more willing to endure longer lines and larger crowds than some of the older age groups might be. Because of all those factors, more younger people will be out in force (on Black Friday, Nov. 29).”

Overall, the popularity of Black Friday has substantially increased since 2009, when only 26 percent of consumers planned to shop. This year, 46 percent of consumers plan to participate in the shopping holiday. Much of this has to do with more stores opening on Thanksgiving Day, says Michael P. Niemira, vice president of research and chief economist for ICSC.

“The expansion of the Thanksgiving bargain-shopping days to include Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday has transformed this period with more intensive shopping planned for Black Friday this year than at any time since at least 2009 when this survey began,” Niemera says.

About 13 percent of consumers plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day, with 34 percent shopping Saturday and Sunday, and 42 percent shopping on Cyber Monday, Niemera says.

While the traditional season is usually about five weeks long, this year’s season has been shortened to 25 days. This shouldn’t affect consumer sales, however, says Tom Scott, spokesman for the Michigan Retailers Association, based in Lansing. “Consumers will compress all of their shopping within the time available for shopping this year. Stores will also just extend their sales beyond the traditional shopping time,” Scott says.

Locally, many urban districts and shopping centers are offering extended hours. Royal Oak stores, for instance, will be extending shopping hours. The Royal Oak Association of Retailers will launch its inaugural “It’s a Wonderful Season in Royal Oak” on Friday. Stores participating in the promotion will offer extended hours, special hours, and giveaways.

“We encourage people to make Royal Oak a destination during the holidays and support our local businesses,” says Gary Baglio, president of the association.

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