What draws people to Black Friday, the big shopping extravaganza the day after Thanksgiving, and are baby boomers among those getting up in the middle of the night, standing in line, and looking for huge savings?
Baby boomers – 36 percent – and the silent Generation – 18 percent – are less likely to shop on Black Friday than Gen Y – 53 percent – and Gen X – 46 percent, according to a Martiz Poll on consumer opinions.
Forty-one percent of those responding to the poll said they would shop on Black Friday, compared to 37 percent who said so in 2007, the Maritz poll reports.
The boomers who indicated that they’d be shopping on Black Friday said they’d be going to these stores:
Walmart – 57%
Target – 47%
Best Buy – 34%
Toys R US – 23%
K-Mart – 27%
Kohl’s – 27%
Sears – 29%
Macy’s – 17%
Circuit City – 18%
Victoria’s Secret – 13%
Apple Store/iTunes – 6%
What’s the attraction for Black Friday, which seems to become more intense each year?
People are looking for deep cuts in price. They’re willing to wait in line in the cold for hours and push their way through the crowds. They often have in mind specific items they want to give for Christmas gifts such as toys, iPods, and videogames. Or, they’re looking for a big ticket item for their households such as a flat-panel TVs, laptops, and digital cameras.
For a number of shoppers, beginning their seasonal buying on Black Friday helps them to complete it early or to make good progress toward finishing it.
Black Friday shoppers often check ads for prices, and make lists of the items they want to buy. They’ll dash through the first store, buying items, then move on to other stores. This year, since the economy is in a recession, Black Friday shoppers are more cautious about their spending than in previous years.
In many stores, only a few of the deeply discounted items are available. As a result injuries and even deaths have occurred due to shoving and trampling by shoppers.
The day is called "Black Friday" because of its importance in determining a store's profitability for the year.
My next post will be on “Why Baby Boomer Women Aren’t Spending Money on Themselves This Holiday Season.”
Copyright 2008, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist