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Report: Holiday shopping starting earlier; less focus on Black Friday

Ann Arbor, Mich. -- Black Friday shopping may be on the decline, according to a new study by CFI Group, a customer satisfaction technology and analytics firm. The company’s 2013 Holiday Retail Spending Report found fewer than 25% of consumers plan to spend more than half of their total holiday shopping budgets during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period. But 45% said they will begin before November, with 61% indicating they'll finish their shopping completely by early December

"It's clear the time for retailers to start holiday shopping campaigns is now," said Sheri Petras, CEO of CFI Group. "Consumers are beginning their holiday shopping earlier in the season, and as behavior is shifting beyond traditional Black Friday spending, those who focus solely on Black Friday-centric campaigns will miss significant sales opportunities."

Other key findings of the report include:

  • One-third of shoppers said store preferences are motivated by promoted sales and coupons, while an additional 25% said they prefer to shop at stores that have everyday low prices.
  • Across income levels, people making less than $50,000 a year are more likely to start and finish shopping earlier this year, while those making more than $100,000 a year reported they won't begin their shopping until the second half of November.
  • Forty-two percent of consumers plan to spend more than 40% of their total holiday budgets online.
  • Only 21% of Millennials report that they plan to shop at all during this period, Black Friday's future is at risk as Millennials become an even more dominant shopping force in the future.  

The 2013 Holiday Retail Spending Report measured the shopping habits of consumers during the upcoming holiday season, studying when shoppers plan on beginning their holiday purchases, how much they plan on spending and how these factors compare among age groups and income levels.