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The Buzz: Black Friday, holiday shopping swings more online, away from stores

21 Oct 2017

Shoppers have had it with crowds and Christmas shopping angst.

They plan to avoid a lot of the hassle this year by filling more of their holiday shopping lists online (54 percent) than in brick-and-mortar stores (46 percent), according to a survey released this week by Accenture.

And they’re going to avoid going out on the busiest shopping days.

Slightly more than half (52 percent) of survey respondents said they’re less likely to shop on Black Friday this year.

Two-thirds of those who said they’ll skip that traditional holiday shopping kickoff cited crowds competing for bargains as the chief reason they’ll stay home.

The tipping point of online vs. in-store shopping on the Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend was actually reached last year, according to the National Retail Federation.

It estimated that 108.5 million Americans shopped online over the long weekend, more than the 99.1 million who went out into the stores. In 2015, the numbers had been roughly even.

Accenture’s 11th annual shopping survey showed consumers have been bargain hunting for Christmas purchases throughout the year.

Many consumers (44 percent) said they get good discounts online well before Black Friday arrives.

“Given the rise of constant discounts and promotions on sites such as Amazon, consumers are doing more of their holiday shopping year-round, and this is proving to be the biggest competitor to the traditional peak holiday shopping days,” said Jill Standish, senior managing director and head of Accenture’s Retail practice.

The Accenture survey also showed shoppers do their research. More than four in five (84 percent) said they check before looking or buying elsewhere.

Accenture’s poll was done online in September with 1,500 Americans by Coleman Parkes Research. Respondents were split evenly between Generation Zers (aged 18-20), younger millennials (21-27), older millennials (28-37), Generation Xers (38-54) and Baby Boomers (55 and older).

Source: Post-Crescent