Despite a rapidly changing retail landscape, Black Friday still remains the most important day of the year for retailers, according to a recent National Retail Foundation (NRF) survey.
The NRF’s annual survey of American consumers indicates that 59% of U.S. shoppers — an estimated 137.4 million people — either plan to or are considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend. That’s up from 58.7% last year, indicating that the holiday weekend next week remains extremely crucial for retail companies.
From the NRF:
“Black Friday remains one of the busiest shopping days of the year, with Americans planning to take advantage of aggressive in-store and digital promotions over the entire holiday weekend… Retailers know consumers are spreading out their holiday budgets to shop throughout the season. While there’s no doubt of the incredible promotions offered during the weekend, the holiday shopping season is long and consumers will look for and expect great deals down to the very last minute.”
The survey also found that 21% of shoppers plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day, down slightly from last year’s 22%. Black Friday, however, remains the king of consumer culture, when a whopping 74% are carving out time to shop — the same level as 2015.
Meanwhile 47% of consumers polled said they will shop on Saturday, with 24% of those people noting they’ll do so to support Small Business Saturday. Last year, 22% said they’d support Small Business Saturday, so there’s some evidence that the “shop local” movement is gaining some steam.
On Cyber Monday, which isn’t considered part of the Thanksgiving weekend shopping totals, 36% of consumers said they’d take advantage of online deals. That’s up from the 34% last year.
The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSE:XRT) fell $0.35 (-0.77%) to $45.39 per share in Friday morning trading. Year-to-date, the largest retail-focused ETF has gained 5.27%.