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NRF expects 147 million to shop Black Friday weekend

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Retail Federation says up to 147 million people plan to shop this Black Friday NRF logoweekend, a slight decrease from the 152 million who planned to do so last year.

According to a preliminary Black Friday shopping survey, 71 million said they would shop and another 76 million said they would wait and see what retailers have in-store that weekend.

"Though the Black Friday tradition is here to stay, there's no question that it has changed in recent years; already there is a tremendous amount of excitement and anticipation surrounding retailers' Thanksgiving and Black Friday promotions," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "It's critical for retail companies to constantly evolve as consumers do, and right now shoppers want great deals, good value, and convenience - exactly what we're seeing with this season's late and early openings, price-matching, layaway, and mobile offerings."

Though holiday sales announcements are hard to miss, there are a few ways people prefer to keep track of retailers' promotions.

Half (49.5%) will keep up with advertising circulars throughout the holiday season and three in 10 (30.5%) say they will use television advertisements to stay up-to-date with upcoming sales and events. There are also a growing number of Americans who prefer to see things digitally; 26.8% will follow retailers' websites, and 31.4% will track emails from retailers in order to get the latest holiday announcements.

"The days of waking up Thanksgiving morning to find out what retailers' Black Friday promotions will be has transitioned into an ongoing dialogue between companies and their customers starting days in advance," said BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. "Through sites like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, company blogs, emails and mobile apps, consumers can connect with their favorite retailers like never before."

Digital Promotions for Black Friday Growing

Retailers' online, mobile and in-store promotions, especially for their Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday offerings, continue to grow. According to's eHoliday survey conducted by BIGinsight, three in 10 (29.0%) multichannel retailers say they will promote their in-store Black Friday deals with mobile alerts, up significantly from the 18.4% who planned to do so last year. Additionally, 80.6% will use Facebook to alert shoppers about in-store deals, up from 73.7% last year. Announces Black Friday Deals of the Hour's, which features promotions and deals from hundreds of retailers, will feature a "Deal of the Hour" on Black Friday from more than 20 different retailers - free shipping specials, dollars off and free gifts with purchase. Retailers will also use to promote their Cyber Monday Deal of the Hour. NRF will announce retailers' Cyber Monday promotions on Sunday, Nov. 25.

About the Survey

The NRF 2012 holiday spending survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the winter holidays. The survey polled 9,383 consumers and was conducted for NRF by BIGinsight from November 1-6, 2012. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0%.

The eHoliday Study, now in its tenth year, provides an authoritative snapshot of the holiday activities of both large and small online retailers, many of which have been in business for at least ten years, and also includes the sentiments of online holiday shoppers. The Study, conducted by BIGinsight for, surveyed 2,988 consumers from Sept. 26 - Oct. 11, 2012 and 40 online retailers from Sept. 25 - Oct. 11, 2012.


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