Black Friday not expected to kick-start holiday shopping this year

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Percent Black friday Christmas

As Black Friday approaches, two surveys by market analysts Accenture and the NPD Group, have revealed that shoppers are more likely to spend the same or less than last year, this holiday period.

Black Friday, the Friday following Thanksgiving Thursday, is so named because it was the day that retailers made a profit; also known as going is into the ‘black’ instead of deficit red.

Today, Black Friday symbolizes the official start of the Christmas shopping season and is often the most anticipated shopping day of the year; however in two separate surveys consumers have overwhelmingly admitted they will not be doling out any more money than last year.

Accenture is reporting that 83 percent of consumers surveyed expect to spend similarly on holiday gifts as in 2009. The NPD Group reports that 61 percent of its pollsters plan to spend the same as in 2009 and 30 percent intend to spend less.

“Our data suggests that consumer spending will be flat compared to last year, aided by a continuation of conservative discounting by stores and the limited discretionary income of many shoppers,”​ said Janet Hoffman, managing director of Accenture’s Retail practice.

According to NPD, the majority of consumers say they plan to spend about the same as last year, 61 percent this year, up 2 points from last year.

About one-third of survey respondents say they plan to spend less, which is the same as last year; and only 9 percent say they plan to spend more, down 2 points from 2009.

"Even though the recession is technically over, lingering concerns are keeping consumers in a cautious frame of mind,"​ said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst. "We are seeing what I call 'calculated consumption.' and I believe that it is a consumer mind-set that will be around after holiday shopping is over."

"… consumers will be looking to find what to buy, when to buy, and where to buy before even leaving the house."

Fragrance not as popular as gifts

In almost every category this year, there is a drop-off in intended purchases. NPD reports that less consumers (13 percent) intend to buy fragrances as a gift, than last year (19 percent).

Only 16 percent of consumers intend to buy accessories, including small personal care products, compared to 22 percent last year.

One of the influences on where consumers will shop for gifts this year remains 'price' (60 percent). 'Special sale price' came in second with 58 percent, followed by 'convenient location' at almost 47 percent, in the NPD poll.

Accenture found that two thirds of consumers (65 percent) plan to spend at least $250 on their holiday shopping this year, in line with spending in 2009 (62 percent). However, fewer consumers (53 percent) will be setting a budget for their holiday spending this year compared to 63 percent in 2009.

Almost half of consumers (47 percent) said they will make sacrifices and cut back on gifts for themselves, while 43 percent will cut spending on gifts for friends. However, they are least likely to reduce spending on their children (24 percent).

Related topics Market Trends

Related news

Show more