Survey looks at consumers' plans and perceptions regarding Black Friday and the start of holiday shopping season.

NEW YORK, NY (November 14 2011) - While several major retailers are planning to get a jump on Black Friday by opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day, most people would prefer that these companies let their employees spend the day stuffing turkeys instead of shopping bags. According to a survey released today by ConsumerSearch.com, part of the About Group, an overwhelming majority (87 percent) of consumers believe all retailers should remain closed on Thanksgiving Day. Sixty-one percent think more highly of retailers who give store employees the day off to spend with their families, while 26 percent would rather spend time with friends, family or doing something other than shopping.

 

ConsumerSearch.com, a Web site that does the homework for consumers, helping them to make informed shopping decisions, conducted the survey of members of Research Now's Consumer Panel in November 2011.  Polling 1,003 respondents, the survey examines consumers' plans and perceptions regarding Black Friday and the start of holiday shopping season. Highlights include:

 

  • Betting on Black. Sixty-one percent of respondents said they plan to shop in stores this Black Friday.  The biggest draw for shoppers is far and away the lure of discounts and deals (87 percent) followed by the overall excitement of the day (37 percent) and the chance to complete holiday shopping early (30 percent).

 

  • Black Out.  Of the respondents who plan to avoid stores on Black Friday, the biggest reasons why included hating the crowds and commotion (78 percent), hating long lines at checkout (65 percent) and not wanting to wake up early just to shop for deals (54 percent).

 

  • No joy with toys. Nearly one-third of respondents (32 percent) identified toys as the item they dreaded purchasing most.  The top reasons why included having to fight through crowds (43 percent), fear of buying the wrong version or type of product (42 percent), concern about cost (40 percent) and fear of not having enough knowledge about the product (38 percent).

 

  • Retailers can have a significant effect on people's enjoyment of the holidays. Eighty-three percent of respondents claimed that they enjoy the holidays more when a store gives a free gift with purchase. Other ways retailers help people enjoy the holidays more include promotions/couponing (77 percent), holiday decorations (75 percent), free gift wrapping (70 percent) and holiday music (67 percent).

 

  • Naughty or nice? The lure of an exclusive, hard-to-find item may lead shoppers to do something less-than-honorable. Twenty five percent of respondents admitted that they would consider doing something sneaky to buy a holiday gift they desperately wanted, such as hiding a product from other customers, intentionally misdirecting a fellow customer searching for the same item or taking an item from someone else's shopping cart when they're not looking.

 

According to Christine Frietchen, editor-in-chief of ConsumerSearch.com, "Consumers clearly have excitement for Black Friday and the start of holiday shopping season, but despite the deals, brands still have to pay attention to how they are being perceived by consumers. As our survey results show, retailers might help themselves more with customers by staying closed on Thanksgiving," she said. "Brands that recognize what shoppers expect and need throughout the holiday shopping season, and are willing to react accordingly, have a unique opportunity to build a stronger relationship with consumers."

 

For a copy of the full ConsumerSearch.com Black Friday study, please contact Meredith Worsham, mworsham@about.com.

 

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About The About Group

The About Group comprises the Web sites About.com, ConsumerSearch.com and CalorieCount.comAbout.com is a valuable resource for content that helps users solve the large and small needs of everyday life. ConsumerSearch.com analyzes expert and user-generated consumer product reviews and recommends the best products to purchase based on the findings. CalorieCount.com is an online resource that helps users solve the everyday challenges of losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle.

 

The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), a leading media company with 2010 revenues of $2.4 billion, includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers and more than 50 Web sites, including NYTimes.com, BostonGlobe.com, Boston.com and About.com. The Company's core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.

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