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Brick-and-Mortar Merchants May Feel the Black Friday Blues


Brick-and-mortar merchants may be in for a surprise if they expect consumers to storm their doors this coming Black Friday, the traditional kickoff for the holiday spending frenzy. An overwhelmingly majority of Americans don’t plan to battle the crowds in the malls or stores during Black Friday, a new survey shows.

Only 34 percent of Americans said that they were going to join the brick-and-mortar retail shopping crowds on the Friday after Thanksgiving, according to a survey of 2,429 adults conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Ebates.com, a cash-back shopping site. In fact, the survey showed, most shoppers (87 percent) don't buy a majority of their gifts during the Thanksgiving weekend and the majority (51 percent) shop instead in December.

Though Americans may be avoiding physical stores on Black Friday, they won’t forego shopping altogether; 71 percent of the adults surveyed said they were likely to shop online that day.

That's in line with the growing holiday shopping trend, the survey showed, as online shopping is predicted to reach record levels. More than four out of five (83 percent) of Americans told surveyors that they will shop online for holiday gifts this season and nearly half (44 percent) said they would spend half or more of their holiday gift budget shopping online.

Most of those Americans who say they will shop online for their holiday gifts this year indicated that they do so because they can get the best prices and deals (64 percent), enjoy the convenience of shopping from home (57 percent) and avoid crowds (47 percent).

"Crowds and lines — who looks forward to that?" Rob Smahl, Ebate.com's chief marketing officer, told BusinessNewsDaily.