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Many Shoppers Dislike Black Friday But Love Gift Cards

Posted: Nov. 14, 2012, 5:30 p.m. EST


Separate surveys released today shed new light on the unofficial "Black Friday" holiday and measured how many people will give up searching for that perfect present and opt instead for a one-size-fits-all gift card.

Internet coupon distributor CouponCabin.com reported that nearly one-third of U.S. adults think Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving—is too early to begin shopping for the holidays. Many people also aren't happy with “holiday creep,” a retail trend to get a jump-start on sales by opening on Thanksgiving or in some cases Wednesday night.

While 40 percent of adults admitted that they planned to shop online or in-store on Black Friday, the rest said they would not join the crowds or did not know what they would do, according to the online survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of CouponCabin.com.

Many Shoppers Dislike Black Friday But Love Gift Cards
Twenty-one percent of Black Friday shoppers expect to spend more this year than they did last year, according to CouponCabin.com.

Asked about their most outrageous Black Friday shopping experiences, respondents stated:

 Saw a guy walk out of the store hauling 25 buckets of cat litter.
• I almost got run over by an older woman in a motorized wheelchair.
I stood in what I thought was a checkout line for two hours. Then I found out the line wasn’t even leading to a register.

Still, money is money, said Jackie Warrick, CouponCabin.com’s president.

“Even though some people will avoid Black Friday...others who embrace it are likely to find huge discounts on a variety of items,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Washington, D.C.-based National Retail Federation reported that 81 percent of shoppers intend to buy at least one gift card during the holiday shopping season.

Total spending on gift cards is expected to reach $28.79 billion, for an average of $43.75 per card. The average shopper will spend $156.86 on gift cards, the most in the survey’s 10-year history.

“Retailers are pulling out all the stops…to make their gift cards personal, convenient and desirable,” said Matthew Shay, the National Retail Federation's president and CEO.

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